Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Celebrating great business

The Horsham, Crawley & Mid Sussex Branch of the Federation of Small Businesses held a reception to celebrate their Business Friendly Awards last week.

It is part of their Prompt Payment Campaign which they have been working with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills to highlight the damaging implications for small businesses arising from late payment. They have been calling on both the private and public sector to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code.

This gives a clear message to small businesses that they will be paid promptly within clearly defined terms – something reassuring for small business who are dealing with large organisations.

West Sussex has a high proportion – 96% - of small businesses and West Sussex County Council has signed up to the Prompt Payment Scheme which provides payment within 30 days of businesses submitting their invoices.

It was good to see Horsham and Crawley Councils also receive awards but a particular delight was when West Sussex County Council received the most business friendly award. This was very much down to the Be the Business Scheme which has been run by the County Council for the last two years and has undoubtedly been very successful creating more than 90 jobs and safeguarding a further 250. Be the Business gives an additional source of match funding for businesses seeking to expand or diversify. 

I was particularly pleased to see Jim Partridge receive an award, especially as he has been a recipient of a Be the Business Grant with his exiting project in Shoreham which has links to retraining in Lewes Prison.

Although the economy is improving and there is low unemployment in the County we know that our Small Businesses often need support and help. The Prompt Payment Scheme helps as has our Be the Business Scheme. On the 13th February the County Council formally adopted the Future West Sussex Plan one of the three key priorities is the Economy. We need to ensure that there is strong vibrant economy which provides a range of employment for our residents. So it is important that WSCC plays its part  to support and engage with Small Businesses which is one of the reasons I support the Federation of Small Businesses.

Louise Goldsmith.
Leader West Sussex County Council
Chichester West Division.

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