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FSB rewards best performing councils in Gloucestershire and West of England

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The FSB in Gloucestershire and the West of England have handed out a series of awards to the local councils they feel have done the most to help local small businesses within their areas.

The FSB team staged its second ‘Local Authority Awards’ for councils throughout Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset inviting them all to submit nominations in three different categories to show what work they do to help SMEs.

The awards were presented at a special lunch at Gloucestershire Cricket Club, in Bristol,  and seven different local councils walked away with either a winner’s trophy or a highly commended one for their efforts.

South Gloucestershire Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucester City Council, Bristol City Council, Stroud District Council, North Somerset Council and Gloucestershire County Council were all rewarded for their work in helping their small business communities and were presented with their trophies by local FSB area leads Ken Simpson and Russell Warner.

Gloucester City Council won the ‘Best Small Business Friendly Council’ award for its work with local businesses to win a successful bid to transform the historic Westgate area of their city with South Gloucestershire Council claiming a Highly Commended in this category for their impressive and varied array of work supporting local businesses. 

Tewkesbury  Borough Council were  voted as the winners in the ‘Best Business Support Programme’ category for their commitment to providing invaluable small business matched-funded grants over many years with North Somerset Council claiming a Highly Commended in this section for a wide range of SME training opportunities and business support services. A further Highly Commended prize in this category went to Stroud District Council for their commitment to helping to combat red tape and regulation and working to encourage businesses to excel in areas such as food safety.    

The winner of the ‘Most Innovative Small Business Campaign’ went to Bristol City Council  for producing an excellent toolkit to help local businesses win procurement contracts via the Social Value Act and worthy runners-up were Gloucestershire County Council for setting up a business-friendly innovation lab within a traditional library setting in the Forest of Dean.  

Ken Simpson, the FSB Area Lead for the Bristol area, said he and his fellow judges has been very impressed with the submitted entries.

“We were so encouraged to see this year that we had more entries to our awards than last year, more local councils actually took part and we were able to give more prizes as well because the standards were so high. 

“Small businesses have a lot of competing pressures on them at the moment and so the more practical support they can get from their local councils the more our SMES can help their local economies. We hope these awards will spur our councils to provide even more ideas and initiatives to help small businesses in the future.”           

One of the winners, Cllr Rob Bird, the council leader at Tewkesbury Borough Council, said they were very pleased that their efforts had been recognised by the FSB.

“It is fantastic to win this award. For a long time we have worked hard to provide support for our local small businesses that is both meaningful and effective and this great award is real recognition for that,” he said.