Business Gateway proves more popular

Business Gateway, the company advice service, has seen a 16 per cent increase in enquiries from people looking to set up firms in the second quarter of the year.

The number of first-time enquiries rose to 11,305 in July to September compared to the same period last year.

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But the number of companies that started up with the assistance of Business Gateway in the second quarter fell by 3 per cent to 2,729, although the comparable period in 2010 had seen a record figure.

The data also showed a 54 per cent increase in the numbers of existing businesses contacting the service during the second quarter.

Finance secretary John Swinney said the figures highlighted the important role Business Gateway played in providing practical help to people starting up or growing their business.