HC Deb 03 February 1987 vol 109 cc608-9W
49. Mr. MacKenzie

asked the Paymaster General what action he proposes to take to assist small and medium-sized businesses in the course of the next year.

Mr. Trippier

Small businesses will continue to benefit from the steady expansion of the economy and the favourable climate that now exists for businesses of all sizes in this country. We shall maintain our efforts to reduce the administrative burden that is imposed on businesses. Amongst the specific assistance to small businesses for which my Department is responsible—The enterprise allowance scheme which is the main Government measure to encourage unemployed people to start their own business will be expanded for 1987–88 to allow 102,500 people to take advantage of its support in starting their own businesses. —Up to £2 million will be provided to the Prince's Youth Business Trust in 1987–88 to assist young people starting businesses. —The Department will continue to encourage the provision of training for small business men and women. The Manpower Services Commission's training for enterprise budget has increased from £11.6 million in 1985–86 to £18.8 million in 1986–87 and the number of training places from 19,700 in 1985–86 to 46,300 in 1986–87. —The small firms service will make its information database available to other support agencies. —The small firms development service, which provides guidance and counselling for established small and medium sized businesses with growth and development potential will be expanded. —Links between the small firms service and local enterprise agencies will be strengthened. —The local enterprise agency grant scheme will be continued with a further £2.5 million. —Support for the Co-operative Development Agency will be maintained.