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Hull City Council awarded regional title for supporting small businesses

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Hull City Council has been awarded a prestigious ‘best in the region’ award for its support for the local small business community.

The council were the regional winners in the ‘COVID-19 Support and Recovery’ category in the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) inaugural Local Government awards.

The awards are aimed at celebrating and recognising those that had made the biggest impact on local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Hull City Council was named as the Yorkshire, Humber and North East regional champion winner with judges being impressed by the council’s work to help the local small business community, specifically younger people in the early stages of starting their businesses.

Hull City Council’s Youth Enterprise Team supported 300 young people under the age of 29 and the team raised critical funds, as well as recruiting 80 volunteer mentors to help early and young start-ups when they needed it most.

As well as taking the regional title, Hull City Council was also shortlisted for the overall national award in their category.

Becca Pettman, owner Gray Rose Boutique: “When first advised we had to stay at home, I did not know what I was going to do without any income. The team came to my rescue to help with advice, expenses, and helped me to find grants to help my business stay afloat, but more than that, they helped us as a young family too – my mentor Charles and the rest of the of the Youth Enterprise team checked in regularly to ensure we were okay.

“As someone who was excluded from the national schemes, I do not know what I would have done without the support of Hull City Council and the Youth Enterprise Team.”

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council: “This award is recognition for the tremendous hard work of the team who went the extra mile to help so many young people in industry during the extremely challenging period of the pandemic. Without their efforts, many of those young people would have been left with no support at all.”

Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, the portfolio holder for Regeneration at Hull City Council: “The COVID-19 pandemic was the most challenging time for all of us, including many young people who were trying to start their own entrepreneurial journeys.

The marvellous work of Charles and his Youth Enterprise team during that time meant these young entrepreneurs in Hull weren’t left alone and abandoned. This award is so richly deserved for the outstanding care and support the team provided.”

Paula Gouldthorpe, FSB Development Manager for South and East Yorkshire and the Humber: “It is really pleasing to see Hull City Council rewarded for their consistent hard work and effort to help young people and their businesses through what has been a very challenging couple of years.

“Both the quality and quantity of entries from this region and beyond was incredibly high so Hull City Council should feel very proud to be among the winners. We look forward to continuing to work with them – and seeing more good work from the team that clearly does an incredible job to inspire young people and support those new to starting up.”

Anybody interested in finding out what support the Youth Enterprise team can offer can visit www.hull.gov.uk/business/business-advice/youth-enterprise for more information.

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