An aside: Goodbye, Business Link

Today is the last day of Business Link as we know it. Formed in 1993, this government-funded scheme in England helped millions of small businesses and entrepreneurs. To start a business, to make it profitable, to help it survive. To employ people. To bid for contracts. To recover from flooding. To fight the recession.

I've been involved with Business Link for the last four years, working for the organisation that delivered the contract in the East Midlands. I'm fiercely proud of what we helped local businesses achieve.

The vast majority of my colleagues have now moved on or been made redundant as the service becomes a national call centre without specialist advisers to meet business people face-to-face.

Amongst the smorgasbord of businesses we helped, there were a fair few breweries and pubs. I rarely mention my professional work when I'm out on the beer, but on the odd occasion when I've let it slip I've been genuinely amazed by the reaction of brewers and publicans. I will always remember one saying to me: "See all this stainless? All these people working? That's the difference your support made".

To everyone who ever worked for Business Link, to our millions of clients, to every nervous person who walked into a 'starting a business' seminar and became a confident and successful entrepreneur: thank you.

It's been a privilege working with you. My next beer's for you.


  1. Sounds like you deserve congratulations, too, for a job well done. Hope winding up of the service still this finds you yourself in good shape.

  2. Well said Alan, I also have spent the last four years working with Business Link in the North West, after running my own successful business for 25 Years. I, like you, am fiercely proud
    of the number of people myself and my colleagues have supported, testimonials are plentiful and it is a delight to watch businesses grow prosper and let's be honest just survive in a very difficult climate.
    The closure of Business Link has been kept very much under the radar and it reminds me of one of my mother's favourite sayings, " You don't miss the water 'till the well runs dry." It is a very sad day for business and makes no sense at all.