Brighton and Hove City Council has committed itself to improving the way it works with its local business community.
Council leader Warren Morgan (left) signed up to the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business Engagement Accord with the FSB’s Brighton and Hove representative Ian Ross (right) of Whitehead Ross Educating and Consulting.
The accord aims to encourage a more constructive relationship between local authorities and businesses within their area. 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 Morgan said: “Businesses are the engines of our local economy and it is essential that we engage in ongoing dialogue that will help to sustain and grow both small and large businesses in the city and city region.
“We understand how important cash flow issues are for small businesses. We already have a good record in terms of prompt payment of invoices but are constantly looking at ways to improve in this area.
“We will be consulting with the business community on a discretionary rate relief scheme to help businesses worst affected by the government’s 2017 re-evaluation of business rates.
“Looking a bit further ahead, we are also working with them on a new economic strategy for the city which will look at how we create inclusive economic growth as we prepare to leave the EU.”
FSB’s Ian Ross added: “It is good news that we have signed an accord today. FSB has around 1,200 member firms in the city and the regular face to face dialogue we will now have with the Council leader will enable us to share their concerns and ideas as well as advocating for smaller businesses, generally.”
The signing took place at FSB member firm Lawrence Art Supplies, Hove Art Shop on Portland Road, Hove.