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Anderton Blind To Needs Of Regional Business

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

25th June 1999

Jim Anderton and his Alliance Party's lack of knowledge about business needs has been exposed by the business community, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

"In March when the new BIZ Scheme was launched the Alliance heaped scorn upon It. The Alliance said it showed "a lack of understanding" of the needs of the business community.

"Since then the business community has voted with its feet and has besieged the 33 BIZInfo Centres and 0800 phone lines with requests for management advice and training.

"In doing so, companies throughout the country have shown that it is the Alliance that has a huge lack of understanding of small and regional business," Mr Bradford said.

"It is encouraging to hear the positive feedback that the new BIZ initiatives are providing small companies with what they need.

"The BIZinfo website has also been an outstanding success since it went online on April 14th this year," he said.

So far the web page has received more than of 730,000 hits, with over 50,000 actual searches. This represents over 9,500 hits on the page per day and a referral rate approaching 1000 per day, 7 days a week.

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

Almost all of these calls were from firms with five or less staff, and most had been in business less than three years.

Almost a quarter of requests have been for information on business improvements, 11% for business start-up advice, 9% for information on

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