Does business get help?

GIVEN the number of initiatives that have flowed from Government in recent years, one might be forgiven for believing that business gets all the support it needs. Millions, or should that be billions, have been spent on one new idea after another but, the

GIVEN the number of initiatives that have flowed from Government in recent years, one might be forgiven for believing that business gets all the support it needs.

Millions, or should that be billions, have been spent on one new idea after another but, the questions remain, has any of it "hit the spot"?

Some has of course but, I would argue, much has missed by a considerable distance.

Where is the support for the development of new ideas? Certainly some businesses have benefited from funding to enable them to work up ideas but, with honourable exceptions, financial support to enable them to bring them to market has fallen a long way short of what is required.


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To be fair, the Government alone is not to blame for this situation, the banks and financial institutions also have to take some of the rap.

At a time when they have been rightly hauled over the coals for over-lending in the domestic markets, their approach to business innovation has, at best, been risk adverse and at worst one of total disinterest.

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This is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for many years and, if we are to truly become a nation that is able to exploit the many good ideas being developed here, we need to find an answer.

At a time when it is clear that the public purse is under pressure, the answer probably does not lie with publicly funded activities but, perhaps, with the development of some form of private sector funding.

We need solutions, well meaning but ill-focused initiatives will not provide them. We need a new approach that matches the innovation of the businesses that need our support.

In the coming months the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be reviewing the challenges of bringing new ideas to market, but have your say, and contact us on info@hertschamber.com

* NORTH East Herts MP Oliver Heald will be the guest speaker at the Herts Chamber of Commerce and Industry networking breakfast at Letchworth Hall Hotel on August 12.

The MP will talk about the challenge of achieving growth while unemployment is rising, the effect of the recession on the skills gap and the local situation including the challenges faced in the high street.

Mr Heald is known to favour marketing interventions which protects the skills base and is an advocate of business improvement initiatives and local economic planning. He is a member of the Works and Pensions Select Committee, has been a Social Security Minister and was Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Work.

Networking is an effective way of generating new business leads, raising a company's profile as well as promoting its services and products.

To book a place at this event, visit www.hertschamber.com or call Jodie Reid on 01707 398400.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

AUGUST

o 12: Chamber Networking Breakfast - Letchworth Hall Hotel

o 27: Clay Pigeon Shooting Afternoon - Broomhills Shooting Ground, Markyate

SEPTEMBER

o 7: Chamber training, Business Lessons from Sport, Ashridge, Berkhamsted, 9am-4pm.

o 9: Chamber networking breakfast, Holiday Inn, Stevenage, 7.30-9am.

o 15: A practical guide to Export Documentation and Procedure, The Business and Technology Centre, Stevenage, 9.30am-4.30pm.

o 24: Meet the buyer event, Putteridge Bury, Hitchin Road, Luton, 4.30pm.

o 25: Chamber networking lunch, guest speaker MP Mark Prisk, Fletchers Lea, Ware Priory, High Street, Ware, noon-2pm.

For more information about each of the events visit www.hertschamber.com

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