Federal Budget 2011: SME support line gets funding boost

The Small Business Support Line has received a $7.1 million funding extension for the next four years.


The support line, which has been broadly welcomed by small business groups since its introduction in September 2009, allows business operators to access advice in areas such as finance, marketing and stress counselling.


The extra funding is likely to particularly impact start-ups. According to the Government, 93% of businesses utilising the service are new.


Since its launch, the support line has fielded around 30,000 calls from SMEs. Around a third of these have been from businesses in regional areas.


The Government claims that the support line has been “hugely successful”, with 89% of calls resolved immediately, with others referred on to third parties.


The support line was initially rolled out on a trial basis, but the take-up of the scheme prompted the Government to make it a permanent fixture last year.


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