ERC has worked closely with the Federation of Small Businesses to provide the evidence underpinning a new report published today. Aimed at the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), ‘A new design: making local support work for business’ reveals that current support is often ineffective, holding back the growth prospects of businesses in the English regions. A number of significant issues are cited as causing problems, notably the fragmented nature of the offer, with too many schemes in place without enough critical mass to make an effective contribution, and lack of co-ordination between various schemes.
Backed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW), the report urges LEPs to drive small business growth through changes to the way business support is provided, based on some clear principles for how to design effective support drawing on ERC evidence.
The report recognises the role played by LEPs in facilitating well-targeted business support, and its importance to the national economy in delivering future growth. However, it also highlights areas of weakness that LEPs should address in order to strengthen the system.