The cuts have occurred as part of the Government initiative to transport funding for start-ups towards companies with potential to grow more quickly.
As a result of the cuts, many more private sector initiatives have appeared across the country, filling the market gap Business Link has left.
Business Minister Mark Prisk has defended the cuts, stating: “The idea that the government should be running this is a mistake. We have neither the capability or the wish to do it. What we have to do is foster an effective market and intervene when there is market failure.”
Mr Prisk has emphasised the necessity for small start-ups to seek their own support, claiming it to be readily available to those savvy enough to look for it.
Lynn Fox, chief executive of the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency, disagrees. She believes that small businesses have been left behind by the reforms. The shift of funding from start-ups to companies with potential is, she explains, a mistake.
Bigger companies that show potential are more likely to be able to afford private sector business support, whereas the people who really need it are the start-ups themselves.
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