Today marks the end of free business advice for small businesses in the East of England.
With the closure of Business Link East, SMEs will no longer be able to tap into support to help grow, or just sustain, their businesses. (Well, unless you consider information on a website and one free 5 minute phone call to be support).
Some things Business Link did always seemed wrong to me – such as co-funding development projects which other businesses had to fund for themselves. However, call me biased, but cutting business support and education has been the worse case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater I have ever come across. Have the government gone stark staring mad?!
One of the things that has disappointed me most was the total lack of action from small businesses. Sure, some whinged, that their free training courses were disappearing, but how many made an effort and wrote to their MPs or started campaigns or tried to get on TV or… well… anything? I think it might only dawn slowly on these people, and this country, what they have lost when it is too late.
I’d like to thank all the people at Business Link for the support I have received from them myself over time – and wish them well in their future careers.
On this, their last day in the office, maybe they will reflect on all the support, encouragement and advice they have given to businesses over the years and the massive positive effect they have made on businesses and peoples’ lives. If only the government and small businesses could do the same…