15 January 2009

Yesterday NWES was successful in winning a contract to deliver support for hard pressed businesses suffering from the effects of the recession and credit crunch. The contract was the result of many long and intensive discussions with the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) over many months and years. NWES and some of its key partners in Enterprise East had been working to convince EEDA that we are a credible delivery group, able to meet EEDA and client needs in a cost effective and high quality manner. This we have done through the delivery of many contracts over a number of years.

You would have thought that this news, that EEDA had managed to allocate £250,000 of funds to support businesses in a recession, would have been welcomed by all. Not quite! I am dismayed that a few fellow enterprise agencies are angry that “they have not had a slice of the cake”. How wrong and misguided these people are. The funding is going directly to help businesses and they are our prime concern – not the self interest of a few individuals. NWES and its proven delivery partners who have worked together for many years will deliver this programme across the region in a very short timescale (by the end of March). It will help businesses in all areas of the region and we are delighted to work with credible delivery partners which are members of Enterprise East.

The people who are complaining now are those who choose to resign as members of the regional body, conduct a campaign of agitation and who sought to undermine the collective well being of other enterprise agencies. To complain now that someone has not “favoured” them is very rich. Having said that, at NWES we always believe in doing the best for the client and so we are prepared to work with a wider cross section of delivery partners as long as they rejoin Enterprise East (it was the hard work of a few individuals who won this contract), demonstrate their ability to deliver a first class client service using qualified advisors and meet the contract conditions. I hope that this shows those people how misguided they have been and invigorates them to seek to work together where they will be welcomed back into the fold and treated like the prodigal son!

In these difficult times companies in our industry need to concentrate on the client – not petty internal disputes. Those who do will thrive and emerge even stronger, those which do not will fail. Finally a very big thank you to those individuals at EEDA who have fought to get this money, helped to put the case for Enterprise Agencies and fielded the whinges that have come their way. Rest assured NWES will not let you down.

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