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Council leader reaffirms commitment to business community

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The Leader of Lewes District Council has welcomed a new accord between the authority and the Federation of Small Businesses. 

Councillor Andy Smith has signed the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small  Business  Engagement  Accord  to demonstrate the council’s commitment to fostering good relationships with businesses in the district. The accord was signed in Twinkle Twinkle, a boutique in High Street, Lewes, one of hundreds of businesses in the district that is a member of the FSB. 

As well as improving dialogue and consultation, the accord focuses on practical issues such as prompt payment of invoices, small business rate relief and making it easier for businesses to tender for council contracts.

Councillor Smith said: “The diversity of commerce across the Lewes district is fantastic and demonstrates the opportunities we offer for starting and growing businesses. Most recently, with our partners, we launched the Enterprise Zone in Newhaven. 

The Enterprise Zone  gives new businesses access to a the wide range of incentives including simplified planning rules, access to free business support, investment in the infrastructure across the local area, and could also receive reduced business rates.”

Clive Soper, FSB’s Regional Policy Chairman for East Sussex (pictured) said: “It is good news that we have signed an Accord today with Lewes District Council. FSB has about 600 member firms in the Lewes area and the regular dialogue we will now have with the Council leader will enable us to share their concerns and ideas. Small businesses are at the heart of local town and village communities and we will speak up on key issues that will enable them to prosper.” 

Lucy Lambert, joint owner of Twinkle Twinkle, added: “It’s a really positive decision by the council to join an organisation that gives such a lot of support to local, independent businesses.”