36. Mr. Desmond Turner
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to encourage small businesses to increase their use of information technology facilities.
§ Mrs. Roche
Many recent studies have emphasised the crucial importance of new technologies to the competitiveness of smaller firms. Within Government, we have a comprehensive package of programmes to encourage greater awareness and use of information technology, electronics and communication (ITEC) products and services among both business and individuals in the UK. We are pressing ahead with our support for the Information Society Initiative Programme for Business, which places particular emphasis on offering access and awareness opportunities for SMEs at locations throughout the UK, and this month we have launched the Internet Enterprise Zone to give SMEs one-stop access to authoritative business information using the latest technology.