Business friendly Castle Point
David Cameron has urged other Councils to follow Castle Point in paying their bills within 20 days, to help small business. Here the Council leader Cllr Pamela Challis explains how they are seeking to foster the enterprise culture.
As a Council we are working hard to facilitate business growth and economic development in the Borough both through our local Business Forum and the Thames Gateway SE Partnership. We have been voted the most business-friendly Council by the South East Essex Federation of Small Businesses which recognised the Council's commitment and noted the following successes:
- Giving Economic Development a high profile.
- Launching the Castle Point Business Awards in partnership with Business Link and the FSB.
- Working with retailers on Canvey Island to help them to attract more business.'
We also ensure our own service provision considers the needs of the business community. For example, in addition to paying invoices within 20 days we are working to improve the small business economy through a transformational regeneration programme which includes a number of initiatives:
- Refreshing industrial estates to create a higher quality environment for local businesses to flourish
- Revitalisation of Canvey and Hadleigh Town Centres to attract and develop the retail sector
- Working with Business Link and Learning and Skills Council to ensure more of their services are taken up to build capacity and improve the skills requirements of the small business sector
- On-going dialogue through our Business Forum with small businesses which include the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council.'
In the context of a challenging national economic climate, Castle Point is rising to this by reaching out and developing business support to help the local economy of the Borough and to help improve its sustainability.