Business Excellence Awards 2021: There is cause for optimism for small businesses at awards
AN ORGANISATION that leads the economic development in the Solent region has thrown its weight behind The News Business Excellence Awards.
The Solent LEP, which has its head office based in Portsmouth, works to secure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the Solent area.
It is led by the business community and supported by three university partners, the further education sector, three unitary authorities, eight district councils, one county council and the voluntary and community sector.
Alison Taylor, communications and stakeholder engagement manager, said they were delighted to sponsor the Small Business of the Year category at the awards, which are set to take place at Portsmouth Guildhall on July 8.
She said: ‘Small businesses have faced unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic and have shown incredible resilience.
‘As businesses begin to open up again and begin the first steps to recovery, we believe there is much cause for optimism and we want to do all we can to help.
‘Sponsoring this award is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the challenges businesses have had to overcome, and recognise their innovation, flexibility and determination.’
The Solent LEP supports hundreds of local businesses every year through its Growth Hub, and this has grown to hundreds more during the pandemic.
It has helped deploy funds from government, establish partnerships to exploit faster routes to market, gather local business intelligence, and launch new forums to share knowledge.
Alison said: ‘We believe this is a critical time for us all to take action.
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‘Stronger together, we can shape the Solent economy as future-ready, highly skilled, and globally-facing.
‘We’re really looking forward to judging this award, and shining a light on local small businesses.’
Pat Smith, from lead sponsor the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our region and many have demonstrated resilience throughout the pandemic. This category has discovered some hidden gems in past years, I look forward to the announcement of this year's winner.’