FEARS that regionalising the Government's free business advisory service, Business Link, two years ago - when the Huntingdon-based Cambridgeshire service was closed - would marginalise Huntingdonshire seem to have proved groundless. New figures from BL East, which has its headquarters in Hatfield with local advisers across the region, suggest that nearly 2,500 small and medium-sized companies in Huntingdonshire sought help from the organisation in the year to April 2009. With an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 SMEs operating in the district, that suggests that well over a quarter of them used BLE's mostly-free services during that one year alone. Almost one-fifth of the organisation's clients in Cambridgeshire are based in Huntingdonshire, and 2,431 of existing companies - new-starts and those established for more than a year - sought expert advice. On top of that, Business Link has also been advising thousands of people contemplating starting their own business. Across the six counties of the region BLE supported more than 108,000 local businesses at various stages of their lifecycles, including nearly 80,000 established businesses, more than 4,400 start-up businesses and nearly 25,000 pre-starts.