London Councils and the Federation of Small Businesses have announced the shortlist for the fourth Small Business Friendly Borough Awards, aiming to showcase councils in the capital that go the extra mile for small businesses.
The awards, now in their fourth year, provide a platform for London’s 33 local authorities, including the City of London, to highlight their business-friendly policies and procedures.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Kingsway Hall Hotel on Thursday, March 30.
The shortlisted boroughs are:
Best All-Round Small Business Friendly Borough
Best Small Business Friendly Procurement to Support Local Trade
Croydon (for their Value Croydon project, which was created to enable and support local SMEs to access procurement opportunities within the borough
Merton (for their procurement for their private taxi service for children with Special Education Needs (SEN) and vulnerable adults)
Best Programme of Support for Small Business
Greenwich (for the Royal Greenwich E-business programme)
Hackney (for the business friendship agreement “Oslo meets Hackney”)
Kingston upon Thames (for their free 30 minute parking scheme in town centres)
Lambeth (for their “Lambeth Works” affordable workspace programme for start-ups, micro and small business)
Richmond (for their programme of support for the borough’s town centres)
Southwark (for their apprenticeship support programme for SMEs)
Sutton (for their Pop-Up Sutton Entrepreneurs Market)
Wandsworth (for Wandsworth Enterprise Week)
Westminster (For Westminster Enterprise Week)
Best Small Business Friendly Champion (Officer)
Susan Lowe (LB Barnet)
Jenni Asiama (LB Wandsworth)
Best Small Business Friendly Champion (Member)
Cllr Mark Watson (LB Croydon)
Cllr Sizwe James (RB Greenwich)
Cllr Ben Coleman (LB Hammersmith & Fulham)
Cllr Jack Hopkins (LB Lambeth)
A total of 38 submissions were received from 23 boroughs - a record high.
Councillor Peter John, executive member for business, skills and Brexit at London Councils, said: “Small businesses play a critical role in London’s economy. They account for almost 99% of London’s businesses and nearly half of the capital’s jobs. They are not only key wealth generators but are also an important part of their local communities.
“London boroughs play an important role supporting small businesses to access good quality business advice and support, affordable workspace, business finance and public sector procurement contracts. I look forward to seeing the winners announced and their achievements celebrated on Thursday.”
Steve Warwick, London Regional Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The awards are designed to celebrate the efforts of the Councils in supporting small businesses. At a time when small firms are being squeezed by the cost of doing business – particularly with significant business rate increases in 2017, it is important for councils to remember that micro businesses are a vital part of London’s ecosystem. Praising the measures which councils are implementing to reduce administrative burdens, and sharing best practice to create the right environment for micro and small firms to thrive, are critical for success.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Small Business Friendly Borough Awards are organised by the London Region of The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and London Councils. They are an opportunity to celebrate projects or initiatives delivered by the London boroughs, which have a positive impact on London’s small business community.
2. Each project nomination should be no more than 500 words and should include the following:
• Brief project summary
• Outline of the project rationale and goals
• Description of what the project involved
• Information on the project outcomes and benefits for local businesses
• Endorsements from local businesses affected by the project (where available) – please note that these will not be counted as part of the word limit
• Images relating to the project (where applicable) with authorisation for media use
Any entries that exceed 500 words will be marked down or disqualified.
3. All nominations should also include a statement of council payment policy regarding micro and small businesses, including any policy to improve payment conditions in council supply chains. In the event of a tie in any category the judges will take this payment policy into account when determining the winner. The policy should be no more than 150 words and will not count towards the 500 word nomination limit.
4. Following nominations, councils may be asked to submit additional material to meet the judges' criteria.
5. The judges for the awards will be appointed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and London Councils. The judges' decisions are independent of the awards administration and shall be final. The FSB and London Councils will not enter into any discussion or correspondence concerning the results.
6. The winners of the last Small Business Friendly Borough Awards, held in November 2015 were:
• Best All Round Small Business Friendly Borough - this award commends councils for successfully implementing wide-ranging policies to support and develop the local micro and small business community.
Winner: LB Harrow
Highly commended: LB Bexley
• Best Programme of Support for Small Businesses - this award recognises programmes of support around a particular theme, which have encouraged and supported the borough’s micro / small business community.
Winner: LB Merton
Highly commended: RB Greenwich
• Best Place-Based Campaign to Support Local Trade - this award recognises council campaigns focused on specific geographical areas, which have encouraged and supported the local micro / small business community.
Winner: City of Westminster
Commended: LB Merton
• Best Small Business Friendly Procurement - this award celebrates council procurement activities that have enabled micro and small businesses to gain access to public sector and other local contracts.
Winner: LB Enfield