Hart District Council has won the Innovative Programme Award from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) at the Annual Local Authority Small Business Friendly Awards.
On Wednesday 5 September, the Council was presented with the award in recognition of its hard work in supporting local businesses and creating a new flexible workspace, the Hart Business Centre.
The Hart Business Centre opened in February and boasts 14 modern desk spaces along with a meeting room offering state-of-the-art presentation facilities. The Co-working space is divided into two areas. A quiet area for businesses to focus and another area as a collaborative space where businesses can share ideas and problems. With packages starting from £30 per month this small business friendly initiative is the perfect option for small businesses.
A user-friendly booking micro-site has been created specifically for the Business Centre, www.hart.gov.uk/business-centre, where users can check live availability of both the meeting room and desk spaces. They can easily book and pay for services 24/7.
Cllr David Neighbour, Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “Last year the FSB highly commended Hart as being one of the ‘Best All Round Small Business Friendliness’ Local Authorities and I’m delighted that this year they have recognised our efforts in presenting us with the Innovative Programme Award.
I thank the Economic Development team for their hard work over the past 12 months and introducing the Hart Business Centre for local businesses to use. We will carry on supporting small businesses and continue to recognise the importance they play by having a thriving local economy as one of the four priorities as a Council.”
Neil Eames, Area Development Manager for the FSB said: “Hart District Council fully deserved to be acknowledged in our FSB awards for a great initiative in using available council space to set up the Hart Business Centre. Our awards set out to encourage councils to share best practice to help our local small business communities and we are delighted that Hart and other local councils are recognising the importance of small firms to the local economy.”
The Hart Business Centre is just one of a range of new services that the Hart Economic Development team has launched for local businesses. Monthly free business advice drop-in clinics have been running, new free business led workshops are due to start shortly, and a new partnership with Enterprise First will launch on the 1 October 2018.