Leamington and Warwick MP and Warwickshire County Council awarded for support of small businesses

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has received an award for his support of small businesses in and around the two towns.

Councils across Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull were recognised for their support for small firms as part of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Local Authority awards this Month.

Sandra Garlick, FSB Area Lead for Warwickshire and Coventry presenting the award to Matt Western MP for Warwick and Leamington

Sandra Garlick, FSB Area Lead for Warwickshire and Coventry presenting the award to Matt Western MP for Warwick and Leamington

At the ceremony held at The University of Warwick, Mr Western received the award for Best Small Business Friendly MP.

He said:" “I am delighted to receive this award.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy here in Warwick and Leamington.

"The Government must do everything it can to support them, whether that is through reforming the business rates system, offering business support and expertise, or simply through providing the certainty they are sorely lacking currently.

Warwickshire County Council:  Winners of Best Small Business Programme or Campaign.  From left; Fay Winterburn (WCC) Sandra Garlick (FSB), Cllr Seccombe and Cllr Clarke (Warwickshire County Council)

Warwickshire County Council: Winners of Best Small Business Programme or Campaign. From left; Fay Winterburn (WCC) Sandra Garlick (FSB), Cllr Seccombe and Cllr Clarke (Warwickshire County Council)

"I will continue to provide a voice for small businesses in Parliament.”

Warwickshire County Council won the award for Best Small Business Friendly Programme or Campaign for its apprenticeship levy small business support programme to which it commits an annual fund through its own apprenticeship levy to be shared with small businesses to help fully fund apprenticeship training for small firms.

The judges agreed this is "a fantastic initiative", which can help to remove barriers for small businesses in employing an apprentice, and in some cases help give young people their first step into employment.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “We’re delighted to have received this recognition for the scheme.

"The county council’s core priorities are to support our most vulnerable people and to help to sustain a vibrant economy in which small businesses play an integral part.

"By supporting small businesses to recruit apprentices, we are helping to address the skills gap that can be an obstacle to growth for many of them.

"But the Apprenticeship Levy programme does more than that.

"It also can be used to enable a business to take on a supported young person with special educational needs and disabilities.

"We are looking for the programme to create at least 42 new apprenticeship places a year.

"We hope that this approach can be replicated across the country, helping small enterprises to grow while giving many young people that all important start in the workplace."