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BIZ An Overwhelming Success

Hon Max Bradford
MP for Rotorua

MEDIA RELEASE

21 June 1999

Rotorua MP Max Bradford says the new BIZ training programmes and BIZinfo centres are proving to be an overwhelming success.

Mr Bradford made the comments at the launch of the BIZinfo Centre in Rotorua today.

"There are 33 Information Centres throughout the country and it is impressive how quickly the service is being taken up by small businesses," he said.

"The BIZinfo website has been an outstanding success.

"It went online on April 14th and the web page has received a total of 723,244 hits, with over 50,000 actual searches.

"This represents over 9,500 hits on the page per day and a referral rate approaching 100 per day, 7 days a week.

"The site also achieved a site of the day (SODA) award on 17 May and received favourable reviews in the print media.

"The telephone call centres have had 1700 calls in the six weeks to the end of May.

"Ninety eight per cent of these were from firms with five or less staff, and 75% had been in business less than three years," Mr Bradford said.

Almost a quarter of requests have been for information on business improvements, 11% for business start-up advice, 9% for information on compliance with laws and regulations, and 10% for information related to research and development.

Mr Bradford said it was encouraging to see so many SMES (Small and Medium Enterprises) signing up for management training programmes.

There are 1000 programmes on offer to small businesses.

Training providers had reported a strong positive reaction by businesses to the programmes which were fully subscribed, he said.

BIZ replaces the old business development board programme which was disbanded last year.

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