This paper evaluates the impact of overall participation in innovation public programs on the performance of firms in the services industry. Using information from four innovation surveys carried out between 2005 and 2011, we find that that these programs have not been associated with improvements in innovation performance neither have contributed to alleviate financial constraints. Our findings hold across industries and firm size and also to the utilization of alternatives methodologies. However, there is some evidence of positive effects in some variables and for some industries in particular. Our results suggest a positive effect of participation on product innovation for firms in non-KIBS industries and that public programs have increased the intensity of innovation in the sample of all firms, but mostly for non-KIBS industries.