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Chief hails resilience in the slump.

THE head of the North-east's business help service says companies in the region are more resilient See resiliency.  to the economic downturn than in many parts of the UK.

Alastair MacColl, chief executive of Business and Enterprise North East, which delivers the region's Business Link service, also said the region's increasing commercial diversity would help it to weather the recession..

And he hailed a big increase in the number of companies which received help from Business Link as evidence of bosses' determination to survive.

The service worked with 34,344 customers and says it has helped create 4,384 new businesses during the last financial year, 15% up on 2007.

Mr MacColl said: "These results are very encouraging and demonstrate the continuing vigour of our business community and the underlying confidence that is there." He said he was reassured re·as·sure  
tr.v. re·as·sured, re·as·sur·ing, re·as·sures
1. To restore confidence to.

2. To assure again.

3. To reinsure.
 that so many companies were coming forward to get help and advice.

In the last year, more than 13,000 companies had received an in-depth business service from Business Link and another 4,000 had been given skills support advice.

Darlington-based Parsec parsec (pär`sĕc) [parallax + second], in astronomy, basic unit of length for measuring interstellar and intergalactic distances, equal to 206,265 times the distance from the earth to the sun, 3.26 light-years, or 3.  Consulting Engineers, a family-run engineering consultancy, has recently completed an office move and recruited new members of staff with help from Business Link.

The company, which was set up six years ago, and is now based in Grange Road, has been supported through start-up, establishment and development by Business Link.

Shaun Ackerley, managing director of the company which employs seven staff, said: "Despite the tough trading conditions, we are cautiously optimistic op·ti·mist  
n.
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

2. A believer in philosophical optimism.



op
 and look forward to a healthy year ahead."

CAPTION(S):

OPTIMISTIC: Business Link account manager Suzanne Henty, centre, has been giving a helping hand to Shaun and Beverley Ackerley, of Parsec Consulting Engineers
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Words:283
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