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Celebrating small business initiative success


A unique scheme that gives small Hambleton based businesses a financial boost is going from strength to strength.

Three years ago the District Council joined forces with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage company bosses to join the FSB by offering heavily discounted rates.

It is the only scheme of its kind in the UK – and is helping businesses access advice and support as and when they need it.  And since 2015 it has supported 315 businesses and individuals with the £80 discount making it affordable for them to sign up. 

The FSB waives their joining fee and the district council provides a £50 subsidy towards the cost of membership.

This week the National Chairman of the FSB, Mike Cherry OBE, visited Thirsk to meet some of the local FSB members and staff, and discuss the scheme’s benefits with council leaders over a roundtable lunch at the Golden Fleece, where he praised the business support offered by Hambleton District Council. Mike was in the region gathering members’ views to shape FSB policy and also visited Doncaster and Leeds during the day.   

Mike Cherry said “This partnership with Hambleton District Council helps the FSB to deliver our unique programme of membership benefits and support to local businesses, our overall aim is to help small businesses achieve their ambitions, and it is fantastic that Hambleton are such a business focused Council who share our vision.  Hambleton is typical of North Yorkshire in that the majority of its businesses are small and micro in size and has a diverse range of successful businesses who are now benefitting from our joint help.”

And District Council Leader, Councillor Mark Robson, added: “This scheme is unique in the UK – but is clearly working.  To have given over 300 businesses and business individuals this support is a great indictment of it – they can access advice and guidance on a whole range of services that are often very expensive to provide for a small operation. FSB’s membership is tailored to the smaller business and is great value for money – even more so with our financial support to sign up.”

“We know that in order to prosper Hambleton needs its small businesses to survive and this initiative is just one strand of our economic strategy that aims to see the district as a place to grow.”