Businesses take advantage of government financial checks

More than 10,000 businesses across the UK have undertaken financial check-ups since October last year, the government has revealed.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform announced the figure as the prime minister met with leading business and regional figures at the Regional Economic Council (REC) to discuss the impact of the recession on businesses in the coming year.

Business Health Checks are a free government service available to employers that call in experts to create action plans to shore up their businesses, ensuring minimal jobs are lost as a result of the recession. A follow-up service is also available to monitor the business’s cash flow, marketing and business planning.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson said he hoped more businesses would take advantage of the check ups.

“We want to ensure firms get the support they need to plan for the times ahead and come out stronger on the other side,” he said.

“Everyone needs to work together to make sure we take effective action to support workers and businesses.”

Chancellor Alistair Darling said the REC meeting was a welcome opportunity to hear from employers and unions.

“In these tough economic times, our priority must be to reduce the impact of the slowdown on the whole of the UK and we are committed to continued investment to deliver for families and businesses across the country,” he said.

The REC first met in November last year, bringing together senior members of the government with business, union and regional representatives to discuss regional economies.

Gordon Brown has meanwhile promised to create up to 100,000 jobs through a public works programme.

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