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formalaccordcouncilThe Isle of Wight Council has signed an accord designed to ensure it supports, communicates and consults effectively with the local small business community.

The accord was signed by council leader, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, deputy managing director John Metcalfe and Norman Arnold, vice-chairman of the Island branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (which has around 900 local members).

Among principles contained in the accord is an undertaking by the council to, where possible, use small local businesses to provide goods and services.

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The accord also states the council should:

• support, promote and champion initiatives to assist small business start-ups and growth;
• employ a range of communication tools to promote better business engagement with small businesses;
• undertake genuine consultation on an annual basis with small businesses to examine council spending plans for the following financial year;
• use recognised business organisations when consulting with small businesses;
• plan consultations to ensure engagement with the business community happens at the earliest stages of any consultation exercise.

In addition, the accord includes a commitment by the council to hold regular and ongoing dialogue with the Island’s business community including open meetings with local businesses and business organisations to encourage an exchange of information.

Councillor Bacon said:

“I am very pleased to sign this accord on behalf of the council and further underline our ongoing commitment to, and support for the small business community.

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“The principles detailed in the accord properly set out this commitment and reflect the importance of a formal relationship as together we seek to strengthen and broaden the Island’s economy.”

Mr Arnold said:

“We believe that the council and the local business community are natural partners and I am delighted this accord will formalise what I am sure will continue to be a constructive relationship.

“There will continue to be issues on which local businesses will want to have a voice and this accord will help ensure that voice is heard. We welcome the council’s commitment to working closely with – and supporting – local business.”

Photographed L-R: John Metcalfe, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Norman Arnold

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