Simplified business support welcomed

THE East of England Development Agency yesterday welcomed the Government's roll-out of plans for a simplified programme of business support.The Solutions for Business programme aims to make it easier for firms large and small to find the right products to help them address the issues they face.

THE East of England Development Agency yesterday welcomed the Government's roll-out of plans for a simplified programme of business support.

The Solutions for Business programme aims to make it easier for firms large and small to find the right products to help them address the issues they face.

More than 3,000 different schemes are being condensed into 30 options initially, covering areas including start-up, growth, training, finance, innovation, environment and international trade.

Business Link, funded in the East of England by EEDA, remains the first port of call for businesses seeking this help and will increasingly become a “one stop shop” for all kinds of government-backed business support.

EEDA chairman Richard Ellis said: “Simplifying the route to business support is absolutely critical, particularly during tougher times when companies need help more than ever.

“But it's not just about helping businesses to weather the current storm; it's crucial that businesses are supported in preparing for the inevitable upturn.

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“Recent uptake in EEDA's Innovation Vouchers and Grants for Research and Development - both of which are prominent features under the 'Solutions for Business' blueprint - shows that the East of England will be in a strong position to capitalise when market conditions improve.”

The Solutions for Business portfolio is the result of the Business Support Simplification Programme (BSSP) which was announced in the 2006 Budget 2006 to reduce the number of publicly funded business support schemes.

Businesses seeking support in the East of England should contact Business Link on 08457 171615 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/solutions .