Business Link: ‘we’re still open’

Bliss, Swan Street, Bawtry. (w110120-2).
Bliss, Swan Street, Bawtry. (w110120-2).

THE Government’s shake-up of business support services has seen a number of casualties as Vince Cable announced his plans to reform the way enterprises access funding and guidance.

As well as Regional Development Agencies, including Yorkshire Forward, business support service Business Link was also on the hit list.

The organisation, which operates locally as Business Link Yorkshire will end on November 25 this year.

Prior to is closure business reporter Laura Crothers spoke to Business Link Yorkshire’s chief executive Helen West about what the move will mean for Scarborough’s entrepreneurs, and what is happening in the run up to November.

Despite the news of its closure bosses at Business Link are remaining positive with one message to spread - “we are still open for business”.

Business Link Yorkshire chief executive Helen West said: “We are really keen to get the message out to businesses that we are still continuing until November.

“People think because it has been announced we are closing we have closed.

“We are very keen to make sure people know that we are still open for business. We have still go people working on a local level, especially in Scarborough where we have a number of ongoing schemes such as the Job Match programme with Scarborough Council.

“We want to make sure that was long as we do exist businesses are still getting the benefit of us being here.”

However after November business will be faced with a new challenge for getting business advice, one which no one is yet clear about.

Ms West said: “What we know is there will continue to be the national Business Link website so businesses can access information online. There will also be a national call centre for businesses or people thinking of setting up a business.

“The Government has indicated it is interested in a volunteer mentor programme for business start ups however it is not known how that will work yet.

“We also understand there is going to be a coaching service but that will only be for businesses with real growth potential and high end technology businesses.

“However there will still be on going support for businesses. We don’t know what is going to be developed at a local level, there are a lot of ideas still being discussed there and its not entirely clear yet. What we are saying to everyone positively is that as this new schemes come together we want to be as helpful as possible in passing over any local knowledge we have developed.”