If you're starting a small business, the best place to be is Wandsworth — it won the top prize at the Small Business Friendly Borough Awards.
Initiatives by the borough to support small businesses and start-ups includes one-to-one and group support tailored to the food industry; support to help businesses build capacity and skills to win contracts in the Nine Elms Regeneration area; the Wandsworth Business Loan Fund lending over £300,000 to businesses struggling to access finance and its flagship Wandsworth Enterprise Week.
Havering was highly commended for its comprehensive programme of support, including over 1,500 advice sessions to SMEs, 40 workshops and network meetings and an intensive programme of support for the construction industry.
Also at the awards, Merton won Best Small Business Friendly Procurement to Support Local Trade for its private taxi service for children with Special Education Needs and vulnerable adults. Lambeth and Sutton were joint winners of the award for Best Programme of Support for Small Business for the Lambeth Works affordable workspace programme and the Pop-Up Sutton Entrepreneurs Market respectively.
Cllr Ben Coleman, of Hammersmith & Fulham won the inaugural award for Best Small Business Champion (Member), while Jenni Asiama from Wandsworth won the award for Best Small Business Champion (Officer).
Now in its fourth year, the Small Business Friendly Borough Awards is run by London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, and the London region of the Federation of Small Businesses. The awards give councils recognition for effective and imaginative schemes that encourage local entrepreneurship.