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Glos and West of England salute their council stars

Councils from Gloucestershire and the West of England that have done the most to help local small businesses within their areas have been rewarded at a special FSB  event.

The FSB staged its first, highly-successful, ‘Local Authority Awards’ for councils within the Gloucestershire and West of England areas inviting them all to submit nominations in three different categories to show what work they do to help our local SMEs.

The awards were presented at a  lunch at Gloucester Rugby Club on the last day of November and five different local councils walked away with either an FSB winner’s trophy or a highly commended one for their efforts.

South Gloucestershire Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Bristol City Council and Gloucester City Council were all rewarded for their work in helping their small business communities and were presented with their trophies by local FSB officials Ken Simpson (Area Lead), Russell Warner (Area Lead) and Terry Lockwood (National Councillor).

Bristol City Council won the ‘Best Small Business Friendly Council’ award for its work with grant support, business rates relief and late payments with South Gloucestershire Council claiming a Highly Commended in this category for their extensive work with local business networks. South Gloucestershire Council were also voted as the winners in the ‘Best Business Support Programme’ category for supporting a range of workshops and business events for local SMEs with Gloucester City Council claiming the Highly Commended in this section for targeted grant support to smaller firms. 

The winner of the ‘Most Innovative Small Business Campaign’ went to the Forest of Dean District Council for setting up the private-public sector Forest of Dean Economic Partnership and worthy runners-up were Tewkesbury Borough Council for being the first council in the country to host a Growth Hub space within their council building.

Russell Warner, the FSB Area Lead for Gloucestershire, said he and his fellow judges has been impressed with the submitted entries and the event itself which raised the FSB’s profile with many local stakeholders..

“We are all aware that this is a tough time for local councils and that they may not be able to do as much business support as they would like but we were very pleased to see there is still a lot of activity  among our local authorities and our awards are a way of reflecting and celebrating this. 

“We were very encouraged at the quality of entries we received which show that our local councils do recognise the fact that SMEs make up more than 98 per cent of all businesses in Gloucestershire and the West of England and they need, and deserve, our support to help drive economic growth which everyone benefits from.”      

Responding to the event one of the winners, Cllr Erica Williams, the deputy group leader at South Gloucestershire Council, said they were very pleased that their efforts had been recognised.

“We are very proud to have won these awards to mark the support we give to local businesses in the South Gloucestershire area. We are also thankful to the FSB for the support they give us and we hope to continue to work together to make South Gloucestershire an even better place for small businesses to grow,” she said.