The demand for face-to-face support is 'extremely' high amongst entrepreneurs, despite the axing of Business Link’s face-to-face service last year.
According to a survey which examined the effects on the business support sector of the Business Link advisory service closure a year ago, half of the support organisations surveyed had experienced higher levels of demand from startups and small businesses over the last 12 months.
The research, by business information publisher Cobweb, also found that startups and people considering self-employment were most likely to require face-to-face support, followed by small firms in trouble, and existing traders.
Business Link closed its face-to-face operations in November 2011, following the demise of the Regional Development Agency network. Then, last month, the Business Link website was replaced with GOV.UK, which has attracted some criticism
Colin Weatherspoon, MD of Cobweb, said that demand for support from startups and small businesses is at record levels, mainly due to the current employment market, but supply is restricted.
"There is a considerable amount of support out there for startups and small businesses, despite the closure of Business Link, however the providers of that support are struggling to meet demand due to a lack of funding."
He recommended that entrepreneurs should go to their local enterprise agency or business reference library to seek advice.