Plan to help small businesses grow

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News release: 11 September 2017

Actions have been proposed to help small businesses in the St Albans District grow and flourish.

Clock Tower
Under the proposals, St Albans City and District Council will write to new small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to let them know about available services.

This will include information about advice organisations such as the St Albans Enterprise Agency and Hertfordshire Growth Hub      

Other suggested measures include identifying “a vision” for the District by looking at what business sectors it should be renowned for. 

The Council’s Portfolio Holder (PH) for Business and the Community would be asked to carry out this task with local business partners by September next year.

Another proposal is improving the business pages of the Council’s website to make them more user-friendly

Projects such as Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign to promote SMEs, would be given the Council’s full backing.

The plans were put forward by the Council’s Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on Thursday 7 September.

Members agreed to the series of recommendations which will now go to the PH for final approval. 

The proposals were the result of an inquiry by the Committee’s SMEs Task and Finish Group. They investigated the advice and support given to the almost 9,000 small firms based in the District.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, the Committee’s Chair, said: “Small businesses are a crucial component of the local economy. We want to let them know about those local agencies that can give them support to help them expand.

“This plan will help us build stronger links with SMEs and enable us to better communicate with them to highlight what services exists. The idea of creating a vision for the local economy is a particularly powerful proposal as it will allow us to market St Albans more effectively as a vibrant and attractive base for particular business sectors.

“I commend the work of our Task and Finish Group and urge the Cabinet to accept these proposals.

Councillor Matt Stephens, Chair of the SMEs Task and Finish Group, said: “This is a cross-party effort to ensure the Council does everything possible to help the many thousands of SMEs based in our District.

“Small businesses are the engine room of the economy and are vital for jobs and growth in the District. We talked to a wide range of interested groups before submitting our recommendations.

“I hope these are now implemented so as a Council we can create an even more favourable environment for our businesses.”

Councillor contact:
Cllr Anthony Rowlands, Chair of the Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee of St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 07761-232064 Email: anthonyrowlands@hotmail.com

Cllr Matt Stephens, Chair of the Committee’s SMEs Task and Finish Group. Tel: 07855 790249. Email: cllr.m.stephens@stalbans.gov.uk

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council Tel: 01727 296130 E-mail: john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk