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Small businesses across the UK are being offered free expert advice from ICAEW Chartered Accountants as part of an initiative which is launched today. The Business Advice Service (BAS) aims to help small companies and start-ups with business and financial advice to help economic growth.
Small and medium business (SMEs) owners can contact firms in their area on a variety of issues, both large and small, and there is no future obligation. More than 2,000 ICAEW practices have already signed up to offer the initial free consultation under the scheme.
In the Q3 2011 Business Confidence Monitor (BCM), SMEs said that regulatory requirements (36%), access to capital (26%) and late payment from customers (26%) were all greater challenges to their companies’ performance than a year ago – all issues that an ICAEW Chartered Accountant can help with.
Keith Proudfoot, ICAEW Northern Regional Director, says: “Start-ups or growing small businesses need the best advice to succeed at a time of fragile recovery and limits on public spending. There is a clear need for expert business advice which helps SMEs and start-up businesses become engines of growth.
“In response, the Business Advice Service will offer SMEs the opportunity to discuss their business with a qualified chartered accountant through a free initial consultation. ICAEW Chartered Accountants will be able to offer expert advice on a whole range of issues facing them – from starting a business to turnaround, restructuring, financial management or taxation issues.”
The scheme is also supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, said: “Small firms are the bedrock of the UK economy but some also need financial management support. This service is an example of how businesses can work together and will hopefully lead to local economic growth and potential job creation.”
Small businesses can find details of ICAEW chartered accountants in their local area at www.businessadviceservice.com . Those participating in the service will also carry the BAS symbol.
There will be a Northern launch of BAS at a breakfast meeting entitled “Partners in growth – SME business advice service” on Friday 21 October, 8.00am to 10am at the Malmaison Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Keith Proudfoot, pictured will explain the scheme and there will be presentations from Mark Spofforth, Deputy President ICAEW, Stephen Lightley, North East Access to Finance and Dan Brophy of Entrust.
David Swallow, President, Northern Society of Chartered Accountants will chair the event, which is free of charge, but potential attendees are asked to book a place by contacting Alison Tait 0131 202 1252 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.