October: This is an article appearing locally in the London press – I comment on the link between community support and business growth:
Local community support is becoming more key to business growth in the UK than for many decades, according to one of the newest ‘kids on the block’ in our rapidly developing commercial sector in south and west London.
Steve Bennett, the director of Safety Delivery, a burgeoning health and safety consultancy and training provider, believes that the way forward in the coming years is already being shown by the progressive partnerships which are now being forged on a local level. His company has benefited from the backing of Merton Business Support Service, which brings together local enterprises and aims in particular to help start-up companies to achieve success.
“I believe that local relationships are crucial on a business and community level and provide real social value, ” said Mr Bennett. He explained: “We have been given excellent start-up support, but, more importantly, the business service continues to give us all the contact we need with everyone in local chambers of commerce and other networking groups. This is becoming the lifeblood of business and communities, and there can be no greater recognition of its importance than the attention currently being paid to local communities by some of the largest supermarket retail sellers in the country who are opening their shops at an incredibly fast rate on our street corners.”
Safety Delivery is one of many new enterprises mushrooming in the region. Its director feels that there is room for fresh optimism following recent years of recession. Mr Bennett added: “The difficulties since the mid-2000s have brought about a greater appreciation of social and community responsibility. This has permeated into business and the way in which we work with each other and interact with our communities. We should now concentrate on fostering our opportunities together and supporting all our community causes.”