Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s efforts to support enterprise in the borough were recognised yesterday (30 March), when Councillor Ben Coleman was named Best Small Business Champion at the Small Business-Friendly Borough Awards.
The awards recognise “effective and imaginative schemes that encourage local entrepreneurship”. They are run by the Federation of Small Businesses and London Councils, which represents all 32 boroughs and the City of London.
The judges praised H&F for:
- Taking a new “economic and social value” approach to council procurement to help local firms access and win tenders
- Running a construction supply chain programme that has helped over 150 businesses and led to new sales of more than £1 million
- Requiring main contractors to pay sub-contractors promptly
- Working to revive North End Road in Fulham by leading an action group of businesses, stallholders and residents and introducing traffic-free seasonal markets which attract thousands of visitors . (The next one is on 29 April – see here.)
- Promoting local firms by expanding the council’s annual Brilliant Business Awards, which last year saw 2,800 people voting and over 100 businesses competing for a Judge's Prize
- Ensuring genuine business involvement in council policy-making.
Just the start
“It’s great to be recognised for what we’ve done so far to work with and support local business but this is just the start”, said Fulham Broadway councillor Coleman, who is also H&F’s Cabinet Member for Commercial Revenue and Resident Satisfaction.
Last week (24 March), following a report by H&F’s independent Business Commission, the council launched a new campaign to make the borough the best place to do business in Europe.
It is also encouraging local businesses worried about the government’s new business rates valuation to check they’re not paying too much.