Internet is key to business advice service

The Government’s new Small Business Service will consist of a network of databases accessed via the internet, Patricia Hewitt, small firms and e-commerce minister, said this week. The service would direct customers to the most appropriate source of advice, she said. John Saunders, co-chair of the Business Link National Forum, welcomed the service and said […]

The Government’s new Small Business Service will consist of a network of databases accessed via the internet, Patricia Hewitt, small firms and e-commerce minister, said this week.

The service would direct customers to the most appropriate source of advice, she said.

John Saunders, co-chair of the Business Link National Forum, welcomed the service and said companies needed a single `signpost’ to tell them where to get help.

But other government schemes could prevent the system from becoming simpler, he warned: `There is a possibility that with other initiatives we may compound the problem of confusion even further.’

Saunders called for a national franchising system to ensure greater consistency of service between Business Links, which are usually run by local public/private partnerships.