For the first time, local authorities and councils across England can nominate themselves to have their partnerships with small businesses recognised and celebrated.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) will host the inaugural FSB Local Government Awards on October 14, to highlight the work local government is doing to support small firms and sole traders across England, helping to boost local economies and employment.

The aim of the awards is to highlight outstanding partnerships and projects, so that ‘best practice’ examples can be built upon more widely, as well as to increase knowledge among local government organisations of the types of projects and programmes which work best to empower the small business community. They will also give small firms themselves the opportunity to see the types of support that are available to them.

The awards ceremony will be held at DRP Group in Worcestershire and will cover four main categories:

  • COVID-19 Support and Recovery – how local government were able to support local businesses in innovative and proactive ways during the pandemic;
  • Programme of Business Support – what is on offer to local businesses, including a small business-focused procurement programme, schemes to help high streets, crime reduction, and help on ‘ESG’ (environmental, sustainability, and governance) issues;
  • Future-Ready – what are councils and local authorities doing to address skills gaps, adapt high streets to shifting consumer habits, help local firms on the way to net zero, nurture future entrepreneurs, and more; and
  • All-Round Small Business Friendly – to recognise an overall outstanding contribution to the life and health of the local business community.

Local authorities and councils can nominate themselves for the awards, which are free to enter, and are invited to contact their nearest FSB team for more information, or to click here.

Ann Vandermeulen, FSB Cornwall’s development manager, commented: “Small businesses are at the heart of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly communities, providing employment and boosting local economies, and local government organisations which recognise and support their part in the fabric of community life should be rightfully celebrated.

“There is so much fantastic work being done by local authorities and councils in partnership with small firms and entrepreneurs that deserves more prominence, and our inaugural FSB Local Government Awards will shed light on this vital area of partnership between the public and private sectors.”