Council first to sign Business Accord
West Oxfordshire District Council is the first council in the Thames Valley region to sign a Small Business Accord with the Federation of Small Business, which further demonstrates the Council’s commitment to providing support for businesses to encourage economic growth throughout the District.
By signing the Accord the Council is agreeing publicly to continue to help businesses wherever it can. The Accord sets out 14 principles, which promote the importance of listening to the views of small businesses.
Cllr Barry Norton, Leader of the Council said “We are very pleased to be the first council to be signing the Accord as we really value the relationship we have built up with the FSB. They represent the businesses we serve. I feel we are all working in the same direction and I am pleased that the Council is already heavily committed to the agenda laid out in the Accord. However, we are not complacent and will make improvements wherever we can.”
Barry Wheatley, branch chairman of the FSB said, “The signing of this Accord is a very significant statement of the Council’s support for the business community in West Oxfordshire. During the recession, it’s absolutely crucial that local authorities proactively seek the views of small businesses and listen to their needs, so that they can provide them with the support they need. The fact that the Council so readily agreed to sign demonstrates its real commitment to the local economy
Cllr Warwick Robinson, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said, “West Oxfordshire District Council supports the established business community, welcomes new firms into the District and works with a range of support agencies. Supporting the local economy is one of the Council’s priorities. Being recognised for our work by the FSB is important to us. In addition to signing the Accord, we were honoured that our Economic Development officer, William Barton, received an award from the FSB in October 2008 for his outstanding work with small businesses.”
“There are several examples of where we have worked closely with the FSB. Recently we successfully lobbied the Government to reduce the 5% business rates increase and we are working jointly to promote ways of saving money through energy efficiency.”
The Economic Development Team provides a range of services including publishing an online Commercial Property Register, sponsoring business mentors, advising business, giving information about finance and funding and much more.
The FSB represents the needs of small businesses and helps to ensure that the local economy is vibrant and growing. It is the largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. To find out more visit: www.fsb.org.uk/oxfordshire.
Photo (Seated left to right): Barry Wheatley, Barry Norton.
Standing left to right: Frank Wilson – WODC Strategic Director, William Barton, David Neudegg (WODC Chief Executive), Warwick Robinson
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