Three Gloucestershire councils saluted for work with SMEs
By Andy Merrell | 4th December 2018
Three Gloucestershire councils won awards for the work they have done to help local small businesses at a special presentation event organised by Britain's biggest business representation group
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) staged its first ever 'Local Authority Awards' for councils throughout Gloucestershire and the West of England with each of them invited to submit nominations in three different categories to show what work they do to help SMEs.
The awards were presented at a lunch at Gloucester Rugby Club on Friday and Tewkesbury Borough Council, Forest of Dean District Council and Gloucester City Council were all rewarded for their work in helping their small business communities along with South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council.
The winner of the 'Most Innovative Small Business Campaign' award went to the Forest of Dean District Council for setting up their highly-successful private-public sector Forest of Dean Economic Partnership and worthy runners-up were Tewkesbury Borough Council for being the first council in the country to host a Growth Hub space within their council building.
Gloucester City Council were also rewarded with a Highly Commended trophy for their targeted grant support for smaller firms - including retail ones - in the 'Best Business Support Programme' category which was won by South Gloucestershire Council for their range of workshops and business events for local SMEs.
In the final award, Bristol City Council won the 'Best Small Business Friendly Council' trophy for its work with grant support, business rates relief and late payments with South Gloucestershire Council claiming a Highly Commended in this category for their extensive work with local business networks.
Russell Warner, the FSB Area Lead for Gloucestershire, said he and his fellow judges has been impressed with the submitted entries.
"We are all aware that this is a tough time for local councils and that they may not be able to do as much business support as they would like but we were very pleased to see there is still a lot of activity among our local authorities and our awards are a way of reflecting and celebrating this.
"We were very encouraged at the quality of entries we received which show that our local councils do recognise the fact that SMEs make up more than 98 per cent of all businesses in Gloucestershire and they need, and deserve, our support to help drive economic growth which everyone benefits from."
Responding to the event one of the winners, Cllr Julia Gooch from the Forest of Dean District Council, said they were very pleased that their efforts to create the Forest of Dean Economic Partnership had been noticed.
"We are delighted that the hard work and vision shown by the council and the volunteers at the Forest Economic Partnership has been recognised and it proves that we are making a real impact on small businesses and helping to take the Forest district forward," she said.
The award winners were presented with their trophies by local FSB officials Ken Simpson, Russell Warner and Terry Lockwood.
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