Business Support

Business Support “must include face-to-face advice”

Small firms must continue to have access to free face-to-face advice under the Government’s plans to reform UK business support, the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies has said. The business group’s new chief executive, Dawn Whiteley, said she was concerned that the face-to-face element of Government-backed business advice may be lost once the Business Links are removed in November this year. She said that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) must include face-to-face guidance in their activities, and called enterprise agencies and other business support groups to do all they can to fill any gaps. “We strongly believe there needs to be some face-to-face support. We know there is less money available, but we don’t want this valuable aspect of business support to be tak... »

Business Support and Flexible Working Reforms in Queen’s Speech

Plans to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and to reform the government’s business support network, were the key measures for small firms in the Queen’ Speech. The Queen’s Speech contained 22 Bills, including planned legislation to cut the budget deficit, invest in high-speed broadband, create a Green Investment Bank to support investment in low-carbon projects and raise employers’ National Insurance Contributions from April 2011.  Flexible working reforms were also announced. Currently, only employees with children aged up to 16, or disabled children up to 18, have the right to request flexible working. But under the Government’s proposals, all employees will have the right to request flexible working. The Department for Busin... »