§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the productivity and profitability of(a) businesses assisted by business links (i) in the Milton Keynes, Oxford and Buckinghamshire area and (ii) nationally and (b) businesses not assisted by business links in the latest year for which figures are available. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
Business link operators are required to submit data on those clients receiving the most intensive level of support in order to track changes in their growth and performance.
(a) (i) 7,000 individual business have been assisted by business link Milton Keynes, Oxford and Buckinghamshire, helping on average almost 700 people per quarter interested in or thinking about starting a business in 2001–02.
- (a) (ii) Among small businesses with between 10 and 49 employees assisted by business link nationally the average productivity increase was 19 per cent.
- (b) Among small businesses not assisted by BL, but which were otherwise similar, the average productivity increase was 15 per cent.