When I launched my “Backing Kent Business” campaign last December, it was with the intention that Kent County Council make a public statement of support for the thousands of Kent businesses suffering in the recession. Leader Paul Carter and I made ten commitments to business; paying invoices faster, bringing our £650m capital programme forward, providing a virtual business centre for advice and support, and so on.
The campaign has been a massive success, with partner organisations branding their events with the BKB logo – indeed at an awards ceremony last week Kent County Council got a spontaneous round of applause for its support to Kent business.
But it was an even bigger surprise to find that the Audit Commission’s latest report on public sector support for business in the recession – “When it comes to the crunch” – actually cites the Backing Kent Business campaign as an exemplar of best practice.
Let’s hope the next campaign, “Backing Kent People” can do as much to assist our residents suffering in these difficult economic times.