Published: Thu 20th October, 2022
Charnwood Borough Council has been recognised as the ‘best in the region’ for its support of small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council was named as the overall winner in the East Midlands Covid-19 Support and Recovery category at the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Local Government awards.
The awards celebrate and recognise local authorities which made the biggest impact on small businesses during the pandemic.
The judges were impressed by the Council’s response to the pandemic including its quick distribution of government funding to businesses and launching a wide range of innovative campaigns to support the reopening and recovery of the local economy.
They also recognised the Council provided support to the high street by offering 150 businesses free advertising through its Charnwood inBusiness campaign and creating a dedicated online shopping platform as part of the Shop Safe, Shop Local campaign.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Council has issued over £65million in Government funding to over 4,850 local firms. Officers carried out visits at over 1,500 businesses to offer advice and help ensure they were complying with the latest regulations. The Council also issued hundreds of email updates to keep firms up to date with guidance.
Cllr Shona Rattray, the Council’s lead member for business support said: “We are absolutely delighted the support we provided to businesses and the high streets during the pandemic has been recognised as the best in the East Midlands.
“At the start of the pandemic, the Council committed to stand by and support local businesses which is exactly what we did and continue to do. Funding was distributed as quickly and securely as possible and we launched several campaigns to give our high streets a helping hand when it came to reopening.
“I would like to say congratulations and thank you to everyone at the Council for working closely with business owners and supporting them through what was an incredibly difficult time.”
The borough council was one of 250 local authorities across England to enter this year’s awards.
FSB Development Manager for Leicestershire, Jennifer Thomas said she is very pleased that the hard work of Charnwood Borough Council had been recognised amid a high-quality field of entries by local councils.
She added: “It is really pleasing to see Charnwood Borough Council rewarded for their hard work and effort to help local small businesses through what has been a very challenging couple of years
“Both the quality and quantity of entries from this region and beyond was incredibly high, and of course Covid has presented particular challenges for Leicestershire given extended lockdowns, so Charnwood Borough should feel very proud to be among the regional winners.
“We look forward to continuing to work with them - and all our other business-supporting councils - to ensure we have a vibrant and strong small business community.”
The FSB is a non-profit making organisation that represents small and medium-sized UK businesses.
Full details of the Council’s award as well as others from across England can be found on the FSBs website at: www.fsb.org.uk/localgovernment
Businesses in Charnwood can keep up to date with the Council’s latest news and information, by signing up to the Business email alert. Just visit: www.charnwood.gov.uk/alerts