Wigan borough businesses go for gold to help tackle economic inequality

Five Wigan borough enterprises have been awarded the highest level of accreditation by the council after signing up to a scheme.

By Holly Pritchard
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:07 pm

Following a relaunch of the Deal for Business plan six months ago, the five organisations given gold level membership are:

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This means that they have illustrated the highest level of commitment to supporting inclusive economic growth within the borough by recruiting locally, investing in their workforce, giving young people opportunities, buying locally, reducing their carbon footprint and giving back to their community.

It is free to become a member of the scheme which see businesses show their shared commitment to help tackle economic inequality locally and create a fairer borough with greater opportunities and a total of 242 of all sizes from across 24 sectors have signed up since it launched six months ago.

Bronze, silver and gold levels are awarded based on a self-assessment submitted by each business and the award system has become a useful tool in supporting businesses as they emerge from the pandemic and find themselves facing new challenges.

The local authority’s leader, Coun David Molyneux, said: “The Deal is at the heart of Wigan Council, and we’re incredibly pleased to recognise five of our local businesses, from a variety of sectors and of various sizes, with gold level membership.

“We’ve had a wonderful reception since refreshing the Deal for Business at the beginning of the year and there are countless other organisations who have bronze and silver level membership.

“I’m really proud of Wigan borough’s business community and I’m looking forward to continuing to see it go from strength to strength.

When businesses submit their self-assessment as part of the application process, Wigan council allocates them a dedicated business engagement officer who works to signpost them to relevant support, develop their business and make connections locally.

Businesses undergo an annual review to evaluate progress and move through the award levels.

Local businesswoman, Caeryn Collins, who runs Impressions Uniforms and was the first member to achieve gold-level membership.

Ms Collins said: “Encompassing the Deal for Business values has made us a stronger and more resilient business.

“The sense of purpose these value give us is not only good for the business, it benefits everyone involved, staff, customers, suppliers partners and more!”

The new Deal for Business was unveiled in January as “a voluntary agreement between the authority and local businesses which signifies a shared commitment to supporting local economic growth.”

Originally launched in 2015, The Deal had been refreshed with the local Business Consortium co-designing the new enhanced offer.

A number of new features are included in the offer including a mentoring service and an online directory which will allow businesses to search for others that have the same values, opening opportunities to connect, source and collaborate with local suppliers.

The council is also inviting more local businesses to join the business consortium and has urged them to register interest via the council’s website – www.wigan.gov.uk/thedealforbusiness with the business engagement team on hand and ready to welcome new partners.