Hampshire councillors and officers involved in regional economic development programmes gathered for the annual Small Business Friendly awards, which recognise initiatives launched by local authorities that support local businesses.
Fareham Borough Council and Gosport Borough Council were both recognised at the event.
Fareham won the award for Most Innovative Small Business Friendly Programme for its work on the Fareham Innovation Centre at Solent Enterprise Zone.
The Centre provides small businesses with an innovative working environment as well as high-standard facilities that allow them to grow.
Gosport council took home the award for Best All Round Small Business Friendliness, which recognised the council’s ongoing commitment to small businesses in the borough.
The council supports small businesses in the borough by giving access to services such as free face-to-face advice for people starting a new business, as well as existing startups and SMEs. It also introduced a business enquiry service, as well as the publication of a regular business e-newsletter and a website, Invest In Gosport.
Ken Moon, the FSB Wessex regional chair lauded the councils for their work.
“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.”
He went on to say how the awards recognise those who went “above and beyond” what is normally expected of the councils in terms of ensuring small businesses are heard and responded to.