Poole Council have walked away with wins in two categories at the at the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business Friendly Awards in Wessex.
The Awards were introduced by the FSB Wessex Regional Chairman, Ken Moon. “The Awards aim to recognise, and publically acknowledge, the significant work undertaken by local authorities, in supporting the micro and small business community,” he said. “Similar to pressures on many businesses, we are aware of financial pressures on councils as well, and will try to acknowledge any organisations that go ‘above and beyond’ what may normally be expected in order to ensure that the small business voice is not only heard but acted upon.”
Most Innovative Small Business Friendly Programme, Project or Campaign
Poole Council’s victory in this category came for its work on promoting small businesses and revitalising town centres. This included campaigns that it instigated in partnership with the Poole Town Centre Management Board, including Small Business Saturday, ‘Top of the Shops’ Mystery Shoppers, assisting with the application for a Business Improvement District (BID) in Poole town centre, Independents Day, the introduction of more Pop-Up shops and partial funding of the Driving Urban Enterprise (DUET), a scheme which helps residents from deprived areas start-up businesses.
North Dorset District Council and Purbeck District Council were Highly Commended. North Dorset District Council’s Economic Growth Fund of £56,300 per annum supports projects achieving growth in the local economy, focussing on support for start-ups, micro businesses and projects applying to the Northern Dorset LAG LEADER funding programme. Purbeck District Council was commended for their acquisition and development of the Dorset Green site, where they are investing in workspace and innovation facilities.
Best All Round Small Business Friendliness
Poole Council’s win in this category was down to initiatives such as its New in Business courses, its re-launch of the Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Forum (helping over 200 engineering companies across Dorset), the production of the Poole Business Directory, its support of the Dorset Growth hub, and the creation of its business support and advice brochure – all schemes which help SMEs grow and develop.
Cllr Janet Walton, Leader of Poole Council, said: “We are thrilled that the council has been recognised not once but twice for its ongoing support for Poole’s small businesses community. We are committed to providing a range of initiatives that help small businesses realise their full potential and we are pleased that these awards reflect this commitment.”
Neil Eames, Development Manager for Wessex, said: “We are delighted to acknowledge the Borough of Poole for their ongoing commitment to providing support for small businesses to prosper and grow. It is very encouraging to see such great efforts from local councils to help stimulate and provide an impetus to the British economy through small businesses.”