Councillors show friendly side of small businesses

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Councillors and officers, involved in economic development, from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight came together for the annual Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) awards.

The Small Business Friendly Awards identify the initiatives undertaken by regional local authorities, which have benefited the county’s small businesses.

Fareham Borough Council and Gosport Borough Council both received awards at the annual event.

Fareham council won the award for Most Innovative ‘Small Business Friendly’ Programme, Project or Campaign, for its work the Fareham Innovation Centre at Solent Enterprise Zone.

The site provides state-of-the-art facilities, and an innovative environment in which new businesses can be supported to prosper and grow.

Gosport Borough Council received the award for ‘Best All Round Small Business Friendliness’.

The council was presented the award for its commitment to supporting businesses in the borough.

It currently offers core services such as free face-to-face advice for pre-start, start-up and small businesses, a business enquiry service, regular business e-newsletters and a new business website ‘Invest in Gosport.’

The awards were introduced by the FSB Wessex regional chair, Ken Moon who praised the councils for their commitment to small businesses within their respective areas.

He said: ‘These awards aim to recognise and publicly acknowledge the significant work undertaken by local authorities.

‘We realise that we must recognise the work that councils undertake, which in essence, helps our members.

‘We 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.’

The FSB exists to promote an environment in which small businesses can survive and thrive.

With more than 6,000 members across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight the FSB are looking to local governments to set up a secure network for businesses.

For further information on the FSB visit fsb.org.uk.