SINGLE GOVERNMENT ‘SOLUTION FOR BUSINESS’ TO HELP COMPANIES SUCCEED
The Government today launched ‘Solutions for Business – funded by government’, a national package of publicly funded business support products. Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, speaking at the Northern Regeneration and Renewal Summit revealed the 30 advice, loan and grant products and services that make up the simplified portfolio alongside their common look and feel.
The products will be accessed via Business Link. A new Business Link Strategy Group will ensure customer input directly helps drive up Business Link performance by bringing senior business leaders into the strategic oversight of the service.
All the ‘Solutions for Business’ products will be in place by March 09 and are a result of a streamlining exercise whereby the government committed to reduce over 3,000 products to less than 100. Monitoring will ensure the number of schemes stays low.
The aim is to make it easier for companies, small and large, new and existing, to find the right products to help them with common business issues such as getting started, growing, finance, export, skills, innovation and the environment.
Businesses had complained they found government support complex and confusing. ‘Solutions for Business’ responds to their concerns and the business community has been involved in developing the package.
It is estimated tighter targeting of schemes will collectively add up to £1.4bn per year of value for businesses whilst having clearly identifiable products will save them up to £1.4m in saved search costs.
Rationalisation will ensure effective use of taxpayers’ money through more efficient delivery. All levels of government – national, regional and local will share the same products for the first time.
Economic, social and environmental goals will be met where the Government needs to intervene.
Secretary of State for Business, Lord Peter Mandelson said:
“Single Government “Solution for Business” will help companies prosper and flourish. We have made it better and simpler for businesses to access the support they need.
“Better business support is about better customer service – reducing backroom wastage and delivering greater impact with the same resources. BSSP is about helping the UK to become the most enterprising economy in the world”.
Chair of the BSSP Transition Management Board Martin Temple said:
“For far too long, help which has been available to business has not been taken up because it has been too complex, confusing to understand and hard to find quickly and easily. This programme will simplify access, make clear what is available and improve the quality in order to match business needs.
“As a consequence, government support for business will make a greater contribution to economic growth at a regional and national level and provide better value for money for the taxpayer.
“However, the sheer scale of transition from the current plethora of schemes to a more streamlined approach will take time to be introduced but the benefits of the new system will become apparent within eighteen months”
CBI Deputy Director-General, John Cridland, said:
“Once fully implemented, the simplified portfolio should mean small and growing businesses will find it much easier to understand the support on offer from government. Together with improvements to Business Link, the delivery of the portfolio comes at a time of tough trading conditions when, more than ever, businesses need access to high quality, independent advice and support to boost their chances of survival and growth.”