The borough of Poole won in two categories at the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business Friendly Awards, with the council being lauded for its ongoing support to its SME community.
It won the prize for Most Innovative Small Business Friendly Programme, Project or Campaign for its work to promote small businesses and revitalise town centres by involving campaigns such as Small Business Saturday, Mystery Shopper Independents Day, as well as introducing more pop-up stores and part-funding of the Driving Urban Enterprise (DUET) scheme, which helps people from poorer areas start businesses.
The council also won in the Best All Round Small Business Friendliness category for the setting up of initiatives that help SMEs grow. It set up New in Business courses, supported the Dorset Growth hub, and relaunched Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Forum. It also published a business support and advice brochure.
Poole council leader Cllr Janet Walton 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, the FSB’s development manager for Wessex, said: “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.”
He went on to say how the awards can act as a “platform” that will allow councils to share the ways in which they support the SME community and also allow the FSB “to promote the best examples of good work to all councils across the county, and further afield. This will go some way to help to drive the improvement of local government delivery and performance to support our local business community.”