The top man with Advantage West Midlands has launched a blistering attack on Black Country Chamber of Commerce after it criticised plans for a shake-up of the Business Link system.
Chief executive John Edwards spoke out in an open letter after the AWM proposals were attacked by chamber chief executive Ian Brough.
Mr Edwards claimed the chamber was either "woefully" out of step with what business wants on the issue or it chose to ignore businesses views and maintain the status quo out of "expediency".
He claimed the vast majority of companies opted not to take part in Business Link under the present system.
Advice and financial aid is currently distributed at a local level through chambers of commerce.
Under new plans, due to be crystallised by next February, initial contact would be via a regional "gateway" and help offered on a sector, rather than geographical basis. Earlier, Mr Brough argued that the plan would see local expertise lost.
He told The Birmingham Post he believed Government bureaucracy put firms off - and creating a further regional layer to wade through would lead to increased disillusionment.
Mr Brough said he feared AWM may "throw the baby out with the bathwater".
But Mr Edwards, said: "For an organisation that likes to portray itself as the voice of business, I believe your comments betray yours as an organisation woefully out of step with what business wants on this issue."
Alternatively, he said, it may be that "you choose to ignore what business is telling you - and defend the status quo - out of expediency".
Mr Edwards said: "You say the proposed regional model would put firms off accessing the business support network because it would do away with "local expertise" and would be perceived as too bureaucratic.
"In fact companies tell us they are put off accessing current business support because they find it to be a fragmented and confusing network and the quality of support they support they receive is variable."
He said when presented with the proposed new plan, businesses "were positive, so much so that take up of business support services would increase by up to 13 per cent".
He expected that figure to increase over time, with "80 per cent of companies questioned viewing the new model as relevant to their business."
Mr Edwards claimed business said it was "more important that they get the service they need, rather than where that service comes from".
The new model meant business would be given the same standard of service whenever and wherever they entered the system and they would receive high quality, relevant advice delivered to them in the workplace by the best advisor to meet their needs.
He agreed that business support should be delivered cost effectively adding, "but it isn't at the moment.
"Running costs swallow up forty per cent of the budget we provide to Chambers of Commerce to run Business Links - money which should be going to the front line."
The new model would address that "imbalance".
Mr Edwards said: "We recognise that businesses who use Business Link are positive towards it and we do not intend to throw the baby out with the bath water.
"On the contrary we are inviting them to play a key part in the development of the new model."
But the fact remained that the majority of businesses chose not to use Business Link.
The regional development agency had gone to great lengths, through discussions with the business community of the West Midlands, to understand what they need and to respond to those needs, he said.