Business Link comes under fire

The quality of service offered by Business Link, the government agency for small and growing businesses, is not consistent, say SMEs.


The quality of service offered by Business Link, the government agency for small and growing businesses, is not consistent, say SMEs.

The quality of service offered by Business Link, the government agency for small and growing businesses, is not consistent, say SMEs.

In a poll by SmallBusiness.co.uk, 33 per cent of respondents said Business Link was very helpful, 28 per cent said it was good on some issues and 33 per cent said they thought the service was ‘useless’.

John Holbrow, owner of environmental advisory company Pollution Monitors, says: ‘Business Link varies in its performance across the country, it really depends where you are based and what service you want.

‘The problem is, the government is hell bent on signposting everything through it. Where I’m based, I’d prefer to bypass Business Link altogether to access the information I need, as it is too bureaucratic.’

David Parkin, head of Business Link, says: ‘We always welcome feedback on the service and strive to continually improve it by engaging with our customers. We are never complacent and will take on board the results.’

Parkin says that in a recent poll by Business Link, 90 per cent of users rated the service very highly. ‘We therefore question whether the less than 50 people who have a poor view of the service in this poll have used it in the last few years and if not would certainly urge them to do so. Alternatively, we would be interested to hear if these people were looking for something that the service doesn’t provide,’ he says.

Penina Shepherd, managing director of Acumen Business Law, says she found the service to be very useful:’One of the areas in which I felt out of my comfort zone was financial strategy, so I had a meeting with my local Business Link adviser who took me through the Business Link health check and gave some great advice and ideas that I hadn’t even thought about. We’ve now met with our adviser around six or seven times and his help has been invaluable,&rsquo.

Of the 150 small business respondents, six per cent said they had never heard of Business Link.

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