Small Business Service
Small Business Service (SBS)an agency of the DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, established in 2000 to promote the interests of small BUSINESSES (see entry). The SBS's specific tasks are to provide a forum for small firms within government; assist in the formulation of government support mechanisms for small firms, and help small firms in dealing with regulatory provisions. The SBS is responsible also for the development of the BUSINESS LINK network which provides business information, advice and support in England.
Similar business support agencies have been established in Scotland (the Small Business Gateway and the Business Information Source (operating, respectively, in the Scottish Enterprise area (the lowlands) and the Highland and Islands Enterprise area); in Wales (Business Connect) and in Northern Ireland (Local Enterprise Development Units).
The SBS also coordinates various financial support schemes to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) under the Enterprise Fund which has three components: the LOAN GUARANTEE SCHEME which underwrites bank loans etc against default; the High Technology Fund (which provides finance for existing funds that support investment in the high technology sector; and Regional Venture Capital Funds (which provides equity finance to small local businesses). See SMALL BUSINESS COUNCIL.