The winners of the inaugural 'Small Business Friendly Borough Awards' organised by the London Region of The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and London Councils were announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 5 September 2013.
The winners are outlined below, with further details provided in a briefing on this page:
Best all round small business friendly borough
Winner: LB Barking and Dagenham
For its Single Programme, which provides enterprise and business support for new and existing businesses, including a one stop shop service, and free one to one support and low cost workspace through the Barking Enterprise Centre.
Highly commended: LB Hammersmith and Fulham
For its programme of activities based on consultation with local businesses under the banner “They said … together we will”. This included a range of small business initiatives such as a monthly entrepreneurs event, a quarterly e-newsletter and an annual networking and expo event.
Best campaign to support local trade
Winner: LB Waltham Forest
For its Love Your High Street project, which included three initiatives – a vouchers scheme, a directory of the borough’s 'hidden gem' retailers, and sessions run at high street venues on topics selected by local businesses, including social media strategy and visual merchandising.
Highly commended: LB Bexley
For its Think Local First campaign to encourage council staff - and provide them with the tools - to give local small businesses an opportunity to quote for council contracts up to £35,000 in value. The campaign included building a business search facility on the intranet to enable officers to source local small businesses, and running a multi-channel marketing campaign to raise awareness of opportunities amongst council officers and local businesses.
Commended: LB Hillingdon
For its Northwood Hills Independents Day campaign to encourage residents to support small businesses by trying “something local somewhere local”. The majority of participating businesses reported a marked increase in shoppers and takings on the day. The council is now helping small businesses to promote special discounts to residents through the HillingdonFirst card, which also offers preferential rates at council parking, leisure facilities and other council services.
Best small business friendly procurement
Winner: LB Harrow
For its Sustainable Procurement project, which encourages a diverse base of suppliers by identifying local suppliers, ensuring businesses are aware of tender opportunities, delivering pre tender workshops to explain the process, simplifying the tender process on the basis of feedback from suppliers, and introducing an e-procurement system.
Highly commended: LB Bexley
For its work to make tender opportunities more accessible to local small businesses including reviewing contract procedure rules to mandate officers to seek at least one of the three quotations required for work up to the value of £50,000 from a local supplier. The council also runs advice sessions for local businesses on how to prepare for forthcoming tender opportunities, and provides a platform called ‘Marketplace’ where local businesses can promote themselves.
Best cutting of red tape
Winner: LB Havering
For the introdution of an online procurement system (iProc) to simplify the procurement process and cut bureaucracy. The paperless system for ordering and paying for goods, works and services, has reduced payment times and increased the visibility of small businesses across the council, allowing the council to better monitor its spend with small businesses.
Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to all the boroughs that submitted nominations.
For more information on the winners and other successful small business friendly schemes that councils have been implementing, see the related documents (right).