The regional offices of Business Link, the publicly funded advice network for small businesses and the self employed is to be scrapped and replaced by a website and call centre, the Government has confirmed.

The Government has said the £154m cost of the Business Link network of offices was “high” and the “generalist nature” of the advice often “poorly targeted” towards “lifestyle businesses that have no aspiration to grow”.
“There are more efficient, effective and targeted ways to use public money to provide the kinds of business improvement help that businesses need,” it said in a regional growth white paper.
From April 2012 small businesses will be able to access advice with a national website – – and a call centre.
The Government said it would improve the content of the website to include “more user generated content, easier navigation, personalised services and more links to private and voluntary sector advice and tools”.
It also said it was working with “mentoring organisations, business groups and banks” to create a national business mentoring scheme “to increase awareness and access to business-to-business mentoring”.

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