Aberdeen chosen for business partnership pilot

Aberdeen is one of three locations across the UK, and the chosen location for Scotland, for a new pilot project that will provide funding and additional support to local businesses on a range of business issues.

Aberdeen has been selected as a location to pilot Business in the Community (BITC) support as it is an area of Scotland that has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. It is also a location with ambitious net zero targets by 2030.

The pilot will focus on the collective efforts to support small to medium businesses in their recovery from Covid-19. It will involve connecting Aberdeen’s resilient responsible businesses to the businesses most impacted by the pandemic to offer mentoring and other practical support.

The announcement by BITC follows Community Planning Aberdeen’s successful Responsible Business online event, which was held in partnership with BITC in October 2020.

The event saw more than 60 people attend with almost half of those from the business community, representing 17 businesses across the city. Since the event a further four businesses have enquired about working closer together. The event was a starting point for building our relationship with the Aberdeen Responsible Business Community.

BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network – His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is the founding patron. BITC's members across the UK seek to find innovative ways to support small businesses through the pandemic and beyond in order that they and their communities can thrive and be resilient for the future.

The CPA is a partnership of organisations that come together to take part in community planning in Aberdeen. The Responsible Business event also saw the launch of CPA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform www.communityplanningaberdeen/business which aims to help align private sector CSR efforts to the Aberdeen City Local Outcome Improvement Plan to achieve long lasting, transformational change across the city.

The LOIP has three themes: Economy, People and Place and there are many ways that a responsible business can help contribute to improved outcomes for the people, place and economy of Aberdeen; now and in the future. 

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing, Chair of Community Planning Aberdeen said: “BITC is a national business response network that links business resources to community need and we are delighted to have been chosen to be part of this pilot project as it will help to strengthen the already established partnership working between Community Planning Aberdeen (CPA) and the business community.

“Despite the considerable economic challenges we face as a result of the pandemic and the downturn in the oil and gas sector Aberdeen is an innovative city which has ambitious net zero targets for 2030 and this has been a deciding factor in BITC’s decision to choose Aberdeen as the only Scottish representative in this pilot project.

“Now more than ever, partnership working is crucial for all of us in the public, private and third sector and I would encourage as many business as possible to get involved in the project so they can discover what practical support is available for their business or offer mentoring support to others.”

Alan Thornburrow, BITC's Scotland Director said: “At Business in the Community we have a vibrant membership of hundreds of businesses, large and small, connected by the conviction that their success is inextricably linked to society’s prosperity.

“This project in Aberdeen will enable our network and partner organisations to support small businesses in and around Aberdeen that have been impacted by COVID-19 to innovate and thrive, and by extension support their communities to do the same.” 

Small businesses with between 2-250 employees across Aberdeen are invited to get in touch if they are looking for additional help across a range of business issues from Human Resources and legal advice to procurement and health and safety training.

BITC is offering bespoke support to businesses both individually and collectively with other local Aberdeen businesses. BITC hope a range of support options will mean businesses can benefit in a way that best suits the needs of the business.

Businesses interested in finding out more can do so by visiting www.bitc.org.uk/smallbusiness-eoi or email cynthia.marks@bitc.org.uk

Learn more about Community Planning Aberdeen (CPA) and current opportunities for businesses to get involved with improving communities on the CSR platform.