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Over 16,000 South East firms benefit from Business Link ‘health check'

22 October 2009

A year ago Peter Mandelson offered all trading businesses a free ‘health check' with a professional, qualified and impartial Business Link Adviser. Since then, over 16,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the South East have taken up the offer. Have you had yours?

Using Business Link support means that businesses are more likely to expect future growth. Fifty-five percent of business owners who are customers of the government funded advice and support service are expecting to grow in the next 12 months, compared with only 34% of non customers.

Harriet Daniels is just one of Business Link's customers who had a business review ‘health check' on her business for the first time this year. Harriet is based in Henley and runs Tigermoth Lighting Ltd which designs and produces individual chandeliers and pendants. S ales are going so well that she is already moving to larger premises and taking on staff.

Harriet had a ‘Health Check' in June with her Business Link Adviser, Nicky Angel and has kept in regular contact ever since.

"It is great to have friends and family around to support you but they may not always be totally impartial. My Business Link Adviser solves that issue. It's great to have somebody independent to talk to. She gives me honest answers in an environment of complete trust."

Across the South East, firms contacted Business Link for help from all sectors. The most prevalent were businesses from the retail, automotive and repair sector (2,500), property and business services (6,000) and manufacturing (1,800).

Business ‘health checks' can take place in a Business Link office, business premises or partner offices such as local libraries and council offices. The meeting allows the business owner time to take an in-depth look at their company operations, and together with a Business Link Adviser they produce a comprehensive business action plan which focuses on practical measures and ideas designed to improve performance.

Business Link is the main route to specialist expertise available by referral, as a result of a business ‘health check'. Much of the help available is funded or subsidised by the government such as advice from Finance South East, training available through Train to Gain or schemes run by the Manufacturing Advisory Service. Business Link also offers a choice of private sector suppliers through its Supplier Matching Service, for example where accountancy, marketing or legal services are required.

Business Link provides information, advice and referrals to sources of training or other business support. To find out how they can help you, or to book a free business ‘health check', call Business Link on Tel: 0845 600 9 006, or go to


*South East Business Monitor, 1,200 SMEs surveyed summer 09.

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