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Evaluating the effect of soft business support upon small firm performance

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  • Hc Economic History And Conditions
  • Communication
  • Economics


The paper applies robust econometric techniques to assess the impact of publicly-provided subsidised 'soft' business support on the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs), It considers the assistance for consultancy advice provided towards marketing under the UK Enterprise Initiative, looking at its effect on sales turnover, employment and survival, and making explicit allowance for selection effects. It is found that the policy has no impact on the survival of smaller SMES, and that it is most effective in the mid-range SMEs, where it raises Survival rates by about 4% over the longer run and growth rates m surviving firms by tip to 10% per annum. Overall, the scheme has a substantial impact, but the paper draws attention to the possible displacement effects.

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