Small businesses play a crucial role in the UK economy and make a significant contribution to local communities. They create jobs, boost local economies and provide a diverse range of goods and services. To support and encourage the growth of small businesses, local government in the UK funds programmes of support to help small business owners in their local area.
One of the main reasons for this support is to help stimulate economic growth and create jobs. Small businesses often struggle to develop, grow and succeed. By providing funding for business support programmes, local governments can help small business owners access the resources and expertise in order to develop their skills, innovate and grow. The support may include access to finance, loans and grants, and these can be of real value to very small businesses. But usually the support is in the form of business training, mentorship and advice.
Another reason for local government support is to promote entrepreneurship and encourage innovation. By supporting small business owners in their local area, local governments can create an environment that fosters entrepreneurial spirit and encourages innovation. This can lead to the development of new products, services and technologies, which in turn can drive economic growth and create jobs.
In addition to supporting economic growth, local government support for small businesses also helps to build stronger communities. Small businesses often form the heart of local communities, providing employment, goods and services to local residents. By providing funding for programmes that support small business owners, local governments can help to strengthen local economies and build more vibrant communities.
Moreover, supporting small businesses also helps to address social and economic inequalities in local areas. Small businesses are often run by people from diverse backgrounds, including women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. By providing funding for programmes that support small business owners from these groups, local governments can help to promote diversity and inclusiveness in local economies and support the development of strong, resilient communities.
One of the challenges that local governments face when supporting small businesses is ensuring that the support is accessible to all. To address this, local governments often work with local business support organisations and other stakeholders to create programmes that are accessible to small business owners from all walks of life. This may include providing business support services in a range of languages and offering flexible support options to accommodate different needs and schedules.
Ultimately the key drivers for local government support for small business owners are a desire to help stimulate economic growth, create jobs, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, build stronger communities, and address social and economic inequalities in local areas, as well as promoting diversity and inclusiveness.
Digital Islands is a provider of programmes of business support, working on behalf of local authorities on the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, East and West Sussex and in Tamworth.