A PERFECT partnership between Stafford businesses and the borough council has scooped a national award for its work fighting back the failing economy.
Stafford Borough Council beat won the best All Round Business Friendliness accolade from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for its working relationship with the Town Centre Partnership, recognising the low shop vacancies in the town as an indication of its success.
In its citation, the Federation said: “The success of the Partnership can be seen by the fact that Stafford’s shop vacancy rates remain low, at around half the national average.”
Councillor Mike Heenan, leader of the borough council, said he was “extremely proud that the borough council had been instrumental in the success of the Town Centre Partnership.
"The Stafford Town Centre Partnership is a retailer and business community of doers,” he said. “People who have made things happen rather than wait for others to do it for them.
“This amazing achievement is justification for all the hard work and ideas that have been put in to make this partnership work so well.”
The FSB, which represents more than 7,500 Staffordshire and West Midlands’ businesses, launched the awards to recognise the best small business-friendly initiatives undertaken by the region’s local authorities.
The FSB said while many towns and cities had adopted partnership schemes, Stafford’s model stood out.
Karen Woolley, FSB Development Manager, said: “Judging this competition was an incredibly difficult task due to the high calibre of entries.
“The biggest winners of all will be the small businesses which will benefit from the excellent work demonstrated throughout this process,” she said. “The FSB has worked very hard to create and maintain a good working relationship with local authorities and these awards are a further initiative to recognise, in public, the efforts made to encourage and improve local economic regeneration within the small business sector.”
Any businesses that want to join the Stafford Town Centre Partnership can do so at www.stafford-towncentre.co.uk.