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Letter: Business Links offer help to rural firms

Sir: Business Links have always provided support to businesses of all sizes in their areas, regardless of whether they are rural, urban or mixed ("Rural firms neglected", 27 May) . This is one of the fundamental principles of the movement. In the latest quarter for which figures are available, October-December 1996, 59 per cent of all Business Link users were companies with one to nine employees; this percentage has been, on average, 60 per cent since April 1995.

Business Links have always taken the rural agenda seriously; many, including Lincolnshire, have very close relationships with the Rural Development Commission (RDC), with over three-quarters of the 33 Rural Development Areas having joint working arrangements with the Business Links in their regions.

Business Links are locally based and, while all provide core services, they must each meet the needs of their local business community. In rural areas with a profile of micro-businesses this means meeting rural micro- business needs. For Business Links to succeed we know we have to offer clients services which are high quality and relevant to their needs.


Chief Executive

Business Link Lincolnshire