News story

Growth: regulators can help council comms engage with business

Local regulators are building positive relationships with their business communities: they have great stories to tell about growth

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The business community is increasingly a priority audience for local authority comms teams, with economic growth high on the agenda, devolution deals, and business rates set to go directly to councils.

One valuable source of support and really powerful good news stories that has largely been overlooked so far is councils’ own regulatory teams.

For most businesses, their sole face-to-face contact with their local authority is a visit from a regulatory officer. With more officers now aware of the pressures facing business, and of the importance of encouraging growth, these contacts are now based on trust and support rather than the stereotype image of ‘tick box’ enforcement.

Unfortunately, a lot of media coverage involving regulation tends to focus on bad news – ‘rogue traders nabbed’, health scares – that sort of thing. Regulatory officers now have much better, stronger stories to tell.

Primary Authority, the Regulators’ Code and schemes such as the Better Business for All programme, are all helping regulators support their business community at the same time as carrying out their vital enforcement work that protects the community.

Now a new initiative, Talking Business, has been set up to highlight regulators’ role in encouraging growth, and to encourage local authority comms professionals to tell this story.

It includes help with business engagement provided in the Talking Business Toolkit, a simple guide that will be updated with feedback and new stories from local government.

Talking Business: online toolkit

Published 6 November 2015