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Highly commended for small business support

Test Valley Borough Council’s all round support for small businesses has been applauded at an awards ceremony – for the eighth time in 11 years.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) commended the council’s services to small businesses, which include start up and skills grants and access to expert advice, which is always on hand.

The council received the Highly Commended award in the Best All Round Small Business Friendly Council category at the FSB South Central awards ceremony in the New Forest last week.

Economic development and tourism portfolio holder, councillor David Drew, said: “The council does all it can to support new and smaller businesses in the borough. We offer a number of grants and have given out more than £30,000 in business incentive and independent retailer grants in the last financial year.

“We also offer skills training funds and other fantastic opportunities, so it’s really rewarding to be recognised for our commitment to supporting our local economy.”

Leader, councillor Phil North, added: “This award is always strongly contested so to be highly commended in this field is no small feat. We have ambitious plans for our town centres and supporting our businesses is at the very heart of them.

“This is just the latest step in our work to continue offering businesses the best support network that we possibly can, and I’m grateful to all the council staff who have helped us to achieve this recognition.”