I bet you have never heard of the Gloucester Business and Community Awards, that’s because they only exist in my head and on the short paper I have written.
It came out of some of the reaction to my previous blog post about how Gloucester can “pull itself together”. There was a suggestion that we should have a Business awards that highlights small and big business within Gloucester. I spent some time thinking about this and I think there is something missing in this model and I realised it was the fact that a business gets established within a community and it is that interaction that is generally overlooked.
There is a view within the City Council that a small business is a factory with 100 employees, but as Eddie Eldridge points out, there are a vast number of start-up and small businesses that get little or no support. I don;t mean in terms of a hand out or anything like that, but perhaps some relief and the general support that could increase the PWin of the business which in turn helps the city of Gloucester. But also, any business could come here and utilise the cheaper land but not actually get involved with the city or not employ any locals, or put any local investment or support back into the community.
My long term aim is to study how we can do to encourage new business to Gloucester and to encourage existing Business to grow and invest locally in our fantastic city. The first step of this is to celebrate local business and particularly those which are successful and have a positive impact within the community that they exist. To my mind, this could be a large business with a social club which holds community days, or a local corner shop which is seen as a local community hub and vital to local residents.
This is where the idea of the Awards came in. However, there is now a lot of work to do, ideally it would be in place by the end of this financial year, but the first step is to contact business representatives that are based and/or have outlets within Gloucester to see if they would support the idea. It will also need sponsorship, so will be going cap in hand to see if people are willing to give financial support. It will also need support of the local press and media outlets, otherwise there is no point celebrating local business if no-one knows about it. But hopefully it will be attractive to them also.
In the grand scheme of things, it should not be that expensive, especially if I can encourage all businesses to put some sponsorship forward that is inline with their size of business (am thinking of 3 levels) as well as trying to find a main sponsor, it would be then to find a suitable venue and more importantly putting together a good judging panel and agreeing the awards themselves.
The awards I’m thinking of are:
- GBC award – Can be won by anyone (top award)
- Social Enterprises (Not for profit business)
- Successful small/medium/large business
- Most ethical trader
- Most Green Business
- Best Gloucester Employer (Percentage/Number of Gloucester people employed)
- Community Project with most impact/involvement
- Individual contribution to Gloucester growth
- Individual contribution to Gloucester promotion
- Leisure/Tourism award biggest attraction
This is very vague and the category would need defined and there are probably more awards needed.
I am getting very motivated by this and really work will start next week to push it on, I have already had some support, and I need to now push it hard for others to voice their opinion.
If you are a local business and would support this idea (non binding and in principle) then please let me know and also please let your other business colleagues know to pass the word. ]
Any suggestions/advice/criticism are most welcome too.