Brent and Ealing Council’s support for small businesses has been recognised at the Small Business Friendly Borough Awards 2014.
At the event, organised by London Councils and the London region of the Federation of Small Businesses, Brent Council was awarded a commendation in the ‘Best Programme of Support for Small Businesses’ category.
The commendation particularly recognises The Meanwhile Foundation, a charity set up by Brent Council and Locality to make innovative use of empty property and spaces in the borough and support new businesses.
The council’s meanwhile projects have so far helped 150 micro businesses and 3000 people into training, employment or volunteering. In the councils’ key regeneration area of South Kilburn, The Albert and South Kilburn Studios have been home to around 115 businesses. In exchange for the space, the businesses have taken on local trainees and hosted workshops.
Councillor Roxanne Mashari, Lead Member for Employment and Skills at Brent Council said: “Meanwhile projects add a different dimension to our regeneration projects and have created a very exciting range of new opportunities, jobs and skills for our residents and local businesses.
We are thrilled to receive this commendation in recognition of our work and we will continue supporting businesses in whatever way we can to create thriving local economies.”
Ealing was highly commended for the Best Campaign to Support Local Trade category.
In 2013, Ealing Council partnered with small businesses in Acton and Greenford, to run a series of fairs to increase footfall and spend in the town centres. The fairs featured entertainment, including live music, a treasure hunt linked to shop windows, and a best dressed window competition.
Businesses in both town centres ran a series of joint promotions, with 25 businesses in Acton and 18 in Greenford participating. Independent businesses were given the opportunity to offer promotions for their business that were then turned into Christmas themed promotional materials, allowing free publicity that was circulated by Ealing Council.
The fairs offered businesses the opportunity to participate in a ‘Best Dressed Window Competition’ where competition winners were publically announced on stage and featured in the council’s Around Ealing magazine.
Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell said: ”The council wants to support and see Ealing businesses succeed and work together where possible. The fairs have created a new, fun and interactive way to do this, that not only support each other but gets the community involved to become more aware of the great things that are locally on offer in Ealing.”