Business Development Programme

  • Max Bradford
Business Development

The Government will be reshaping its Business Development Programme to enhance its effectiveness in improving business skills and capability, Business Development Minister Max Bradford said today.

He said a new and flexible Government assistance programme, particularly targeted at small to medium sized business outside of the main centres, would be set up in the near future.

The new programme would replace the current Business Development Programme.

"The Coalition Government has decided in principle to terminate the grant elements of the programme. This is because they are not effectively meeting our business development objectives, and because of the administrative difficulties highlighted in the recent Controller and Auditor-General's report," Mr Bradford said.

The 21 Business Development Boards will be able to process the approximately 900 applications they have on hand up to and including 8 April, he said.

"The suspension on grant approvals will be lifted to enable those applications to be processed, but the boards will need to give assurances that they will apply procedures designed to ensure their compliance with the
Code," he said.

"The Government acknowledges the important contributions that small and medium enterprises make to economic growth in New Zealand. It is important that these businesses are able to develop new skills to compete effectively in the global trading environment.

"In developing a new scheme, the Government is looking for an approach which minimises bureaucracy, builds a partnership between the Government and those delivering services, and creates incentives to provide the service."

Mr Bradford said officials were working with people in the regions, including boards, on how this might best be achieved.

The Government planned to make decisions on the new programme in the near future so that implementation could begin by July 1.