Drop in calls to biz helpline needs explanation

Published: Tue 24 Oct 2006 01:26 PM
Katherine Rich MP
National Party Economic Development Spokeswoman
24 October 2006
Drop in calls to biz helpline needs explanation
Trevor Mallard needs to explain why phone enquiries to Government-funded business advisory service BizInfo have fallen by 44% since 2002/03, says National Party Economic Development spokeswoman Katherine Rich.
Answers to parliamentary questions show that in 2002/03 the BizInfo 0800 number received 52,528 calls. By 2004/05 that number had dropped to only 29,000.
“This reduction in the number of calls is disturbing and requires an explanation from the Minister. I understand it comes down to a lack of promotion,” says Mrs Rich.
“NZTE has made a concerted effort to bring all promotion in-house, which has been to the detriment of the service’s profile because it tends to do centralized rather than locally-focused campaigns.
“Local providers of the BizInfo line will have a much better idea of what it takes to connect with their local constituencies.
“More than 95% of calls to BizInfo are start-up businesses. If the service is not actively and regularly promoted then it's no wonder that would-be business people are not picking up the phone.”

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