Business Growth Service to Close by March 2016 Industry News 25th January 2016 | By Paul Hunter As of the latest Spending Review, it has been announced that the government will bring an end to the Business Growth Service in early 2016. Here we take a look into what informed this decision, the service’s achievements to date and where this funding will be spent here after: Business Growth Service to be Wound Down On 26th November 2015 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced that the result of the most recent Spending Review meant that Business Growth Service activities will be wound down over the next few months to a final end in March 2016. BIS has issued formal instructions to providers not to enter any further contractual commitments with customers, but all existing agreements should be honoured assuming all work is completed by the end date. What Is the Business Growth Service and Why is it Ending? The Business Growth Service is a government-backed business support service that was created to help businesses develop their offerings and grow in size. It would provide business owners with a gentle guiding hand, advising them how to recognise and conquer obstacles holding their business success back, as well as help plan out an emerging future. The Business Growth Service also connected successful growth specialists and high growth businesses to help build strong networks and working relationships, discover new funding options and inspire staff. Who could apply? Any UK registered business based in England with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover under £40m. Those that were chosen as ‘suitable’ were high growth and were about to enter their next development phase with huge potential. The BIS spokesperson has said: “In the last parliament we responded to concerns that small businesses couldn’t find the support they needed. Since then we have funded the creation of Growth Hubs and by April 2016 there will be 39 of them providing support to businesses across England.” The Small Business Minister, Anna Soubry, has also commented. She told the press: “The most important way we can help small businesses is to continue to secure a strong, growing economy and that’s exactly what this government is doing. We’ll keep cutting red tape and have extended small business rate relief for an extra year, freeing up small firms to do what they do best.” Business Growth Service Performance Results 97% would have recommended the service 90% of users said the service helped bring new products or services to market It helped raise over £100m external finance for businesses It helped access over £13m in grants for senior team development Businesses experienced 4x faster growth than the average SME It engaged with 18,000 businesses Where Will the Money Be Redistributed? The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will now provide Growth Hubs with further funding and encourage them to support small business growth on a localised basis. In 2016/2017 these ‘hubs’ will be provided with £12m from the government, and £12m in 2017/2018. The Business Growth Service may be coming to an end, but financial advice will still be available from a number of services. If you require commercial finance for any reason, whether a mortgage or invoice factoring, we can help. Call us on 02920 766 565 to speak to or request a call back from one of our friendly, experienced financial brokers.