Cheshire and Warrington Councils invited to showcase their small business support credentials at new FSB awards

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new awards to recognise local government support for small businesses.

For the first time, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, and Warrington Borough Councils have been invited to nominate themselves against local authorities and councils across England to celebrate their small businesses support credentials.

The FSB, the UK’s leading small business membership organisation, will host the inaugural FSB Local Government Awards on 14 October. The awards ceremony will be held at DRP Group in Worcestershire, a state-of-the-art venue which has hosted events such as the Gadget Show, and will be jointly produced with students from Kidderminster College, giving them hands-on experience at a high-profile professional event.

Local government is vital to supporting small firms and sole traders, helping to boost local economies create employment.

The aim of the awards is to highlight outstanding partnerships and projects, so that ‘best practice’ examples can be shared and developed, and increase knowledge among local government organisations of the types of projects and programmes that work best to empower the small business community.

In turn, small firms themselves will have the opportunity to find out more about the types of support available to them.

The 2022 awards will cover four main categories:

  • COVID-19 Support and Recovery – how councils supported local businesses in innovative and proactive ways during the pandemic;
  • Programme of Business Support – what is on offer to local businesses, including a small business-focused procurement programme, schemes to help high streets, crime reduction, and help on ‘ESG’ (environmental, sustainability, and governance) issues;
  • Future-Ready – what councils and local authorities are doing to address skills gaps, adapt high streets to shifting consumer habits, help local firms on the way to net zero, nurture future entrepreneurs, and more; and
  • All-Round Small Business Friendly – to recognise an overall outstanding contribution to the life and health of the local business community.

Local authorities and councils can nominate themselves for the awards, which are free to enter, and are invited to contact the FSB for more information or visit https://www.fsb.org.uk/local-government-hub.html.

Daren Shaw, FSB Area Leader for Cheshire, said: “Small businesses are at the heart of our communities across Cheshire and Warrington, providing employment and driving local economies. Local councils which recognise and support their part in the fabric of community life should be rightfully celebrated.

“There is so much fantastic work being done by local authorities and councils in partnership with small firms and entrepreneurs that deserves more prominence, and our inaugural FSB Local Government Awards will shed light on this vital area of partnership between the public and private sectors. 

“Innovation and imagination will be needed from local government bodies and from small businesses alike as we face up to the challenges ahead, from reaching net zero to improving productivity in all of England’s areas and regions. By working together, we are all better off, and will build a stronger basis for growth and positive development.”

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