A range of initiatives to help small and new businesses in Stafford have helped the Borough Council scoop a regional award.
The council has won the West Midlands Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) award for their “all round support” to small, local firms.
Among those initiatives, the local authority provided a ‘one stop’ hot line for advice on a number of issues which cuts across various council functions - such as licensing, planning applications and grant funding.
The range of work has also been cited as a reason for the number of occupied outlets in the town rising to nearly 90% - which is above the national average - and footfall in the first half of this year was higher than the corresponding period in 2018.
It was success such as this that helped them triumph in the ‘Best All Round Small Business Friendliness’ category of the West Midlands FSB awards. The award was given for “sustained and deliberate Local Authority initiatives that have not only considered - but positively succeeded - in supporting and developing the local small business community.”
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said they were very proud that around 70% of outlets in Stafford are independents which suggested the work to help smaller businesses open up, and survive, was working.
Other initiatives included parking concessions, working with Wolverhampton University to offer short courses to improve the marketing of businesses and raising awareness of a digital broadband voucher scheme.
Councillor Beatty, continued: “The real yardstick of the success of the work we have been doing is in the number of businesses that are able to start up, flourish, and make Stafford Borough their home.
“But it is also pleasing to have your good work recognised by an independent organisation whose job is to represent, and look after the interests, of these small businesses.”
New or existing businesses can find advice from https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/business-advice
Press Release No 5547