Representatives from around 90 North East companies turned out at the Sage head office in Newcastle to learn from the Prime Minister’s adviser on corporate responsibility how they can get the word out on the positive work they are doing in their communities.
Philip N Green, who was chief executive of United Utilities for five years, was among those participating in a Trading for Good event, designed to open networking opportunities while helping businesses promote their social values, from charitable giving to apprenticeship schemes.
Trading for Good is a not-for-profit initiative that allows businesses to sign up for free to a website that highlights their credentials.
Green, a non-executive chairman of the organisation, said: “This event is not about us telling North East businesses to do good. Many already do, but we are trying to help them communicate what they do.
“Typically, it is big companies that have the resources to do this, but we want to help small firms communicate their social values to customers as well.
“In my experience, successful businesses are doing good work in their communities – those things go hand in hand whether they are small or big.”
Trading for Good was inspired by the Government’s Every Business Commits agenda that encourages businesses to contribute to society. Other speakers at the event included Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah and Trading for Good’s founder Kay Allen OBE.
Green added: “Small businesses are really important to the economy. I would say they were the backbone and that is something this Government has recognised.”
Lee Perkins, managing director of Sage UK and Ireland’s Start-Up and Small Business Division, said: “Sage is proud to be supporting this initiative by hosting the very first Trading for Good event in the North East.
“At a time of growing business confidence in the UK economy, firms will start to look at ways they can give something back to the communities they serve. This initiative can go a long way in helping socially responsible small firms to differentiate themselves, grow and deliver meaningful social change in the area.”