§ Mr. Cotter
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of businesses in the United Kingdom run from home; and what initiatives his Department has taken to address the specific needs of those businesses. 23W
§ Mr. Wills
[holding answer 5 May 1999]: No official estimate has been made of the number of businesses run from home. The Labour Force Survey, Spring 1998, estimated that 600,000 self employed people work mainly from their own home, and a further 1.1 million use their home as a base while working in different places.
There are no schemes specifically addressed towards home-based businesses. Home based businesses and the self employed are eligible for business support in the same way as any other small business. Business Link partnerships provide support to all businesses regardless of size or their location. In addition, the DTI makes available a considerable amount of free information on a wide variety of topics.
I met with officials from the Home Business Alliance on 27 April to discuss their concerns for home-based workers.