Should the Tories get into power later this year, would-be small-business minister Prisk says that one of his first acts would be to scrap the organisation.
“We believe that Business Link is failing in its task,” he says. “Many surveys show that only a small proportion of businesses use it, and those that do are dissatisfied with the service they receive.”
The problem, says Prisk, is that the advisory service – which employs 1,500 staff at a cost of £190m per year – spends most of its resources directing enquiries elsewhere.
“I also take the view that you shouldn’t employ civil servants to tell small-business owners how to run their firms. Our job in government – if we are elected – will be to create the right environment for small businesses to start and grow, not for us to tinker and meddle,” adds Prisk.
Last month, Business Link was blasted by ex-Dragon Doug Richard, who published his Entrepreneur’s Manifesto.
As well as many small businesses being unhappy with the service, many others are unhappy with its cost to the taxpayer.
Commenting on Business Link, Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses says that although Business Link has improved, it still has “a long way to go”.
To replace the organisation, Prisk proposes that the wide range of already existing regional business and enterprise organisations ¬– which have a considerable overlap with Business Link – take over its responsibilities.
Whether or not Business Link is shut down, we believe that entrepreneurs will continue to need all the help they can get, as outlined in our ten points on Saving Britain’s Future.
What do you think? Should Business Link he abolished? Leave your comments below.
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