Did you know about the £30m government scheme for small businesses to get advice? No, neither did anyone else

Government fails to hand out £30m in match-funding

The government has handed out just £3.6m of a £30m pot meant for helping small businesses with expert advice.

The voucher scheme provided match-funding up to the value of £2,000 to small businesses to help with technical, financial and management advice – but it was labelled an “abject failure” after handing out just over one tenth of the money set aside.

It seems businesses simply weren’t aware of the scheme, which closed earlier this year and helped 7,000 business – a third of the number expected.

Shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, said: “It appears that not nearly enough was done by BIS [Business, Innovation and Skills] to promote and back the scheme, and as a result it has ended up being yet another abject failure, like so many other programmes designed to support small business which we’ve seen from this government.”

The government said 27,000 businesses contacted the department for advice and some applications still had not been processed.

A Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: “The growth voucher programme was a research project designed to test the impact of business support and to look at how subsidised advice could help small businesses grow. Through the programme over 27,000 businesses have received advice and support, and we are confident the key research objectives will be met.”


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