“I think the Regional Development Agencies are far better placed than the Small Business Service to provide front line services. I took the view not just that we need to simplify the number of things that we offer people (in business); I would also like to reduce the number of places that you get them. ”
Alistair Darling. Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (2006)
In 2005, the Government’s Annual Small Business Service Survey declared that over 50% of small businesses “want government help, but struggle to find their way through the maze of provision.”
This Chapter challenges the Government’s resulting Business Support Simplification Programme (BSSP) and their attempt to establish a ‘no wrong door’ approach.
In less than four years, the Government had shrunk over two thousand initiatives into a portfolio of just thirteen business support products.
Chapter 11 asks whether this policy led to a reduction in specialist knowledge and diminished the impact of Government funded help for businesses.