East Hampshire District Council wins award for helping small firms through hard times

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SUPPORT given to small businesses through tough economic times has won a council an award.

The Federation of Small Businesses has recognised East Hampshire District Council as the most All-round Small Business Friendly authority in the county.

The organisation praised the council’s ‘consistent and varied support for small businesses, through economic growth and recession’.

The council has introduced grants and mandatory rate relief and the promotion of start-up businesses and the development of skills.

Networks and partnerships have been set up to create awareness of help available.

Council leader Patrick Burridge said: ‘Small businesses are a crucial part of our economy in East Hampshire and we’re dedicated to supporting them.

‘In difficult financial times, the business community looks to the local authority to help ease the pressure and this award demonstrates how successful we have been in doing that.’

Chief executive Sandy Hopkins said: ‘Winning this award is recognition of the hard work and determined effort that everyone in the council has put into supporting and developing the small businesses of east Hampshire.

‘It means all the more that this recognition comes from those businesses we have sought to help.’