Whether it proves to be a help or a hindrance, small businesses may soon be getting more and more fact-finding visits from Whitehall officials, as they try to determine how best to help the UK's small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Business and enterprise minister, Mark Prisk, has returned to Whitehall following a week spent with five separate firms across the UK and he's imbued with confidence over the value of his week of observations.
He said he would be encouraging senior staff not only in his department but in others too, that they really need to get their hands dirty in order to accurately understand and represent what these businesses need from their government.
"It is vital that we create the right conditions for growth and break down the barriers between business and government," he said. "That is why I have encouraged officials working on small business policy at my department to participate in this initiative too."
Mr Prisk spent time with businesses including a brick and tile manufacturer and an engineering firm, as part of his Week in Small Business initiative. He said that his 95 per cent of his department's enterprise policy officials have already spent time with businesses across Britain, and now wants other Whitehall departments to spend between one and five days a year with SMEs.
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