Business Links users are “disappointed”

DESIGNERS hoping to get work through Business Links are disappointed, suggest findings from a NatWest survey, showing business men and women in the UK are either unaware of, or just not using, Business Links.

Consultancies have been encouraged to join registers for service suppliers, like the West Midlands’ Link Up Consultancy Index, set by local Business Links for annual registration fees. Design counsellors recommend consultancies to clients from the registers after the groups undergo an accreditation process.

But findings from the survey, compiled by the Small Business Research Trust, indicate that “small business owners and managers have yet to be persuaded about the value of support on offer” from the links. This is despite the fact that most of the UK’s business men and women “are hungry for information”, says NatWest’s head of small business services Ian Peters.

According to Peters, the survey found a “degree of scepticism among some business people about the relevance and value of … services offered by the business support network”.

The survey, based on replies from 742 small businesses, found that half of the business owners and managers questioned did not know where to find their local Business Links. And only nine per cent of both start-up and established businesses went to Business Links for advice.

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