Sheffield councillor Nikki Bond was the stand out winner in a contest to boost Sheffield’s small business community.
The member for Nether Edge was hailed a ‘champion’ by the Federation of Small Businesses which set the challenge.
It urged all 85 Sheffield councillors to visit small firms and record their visits by taking a selfie with the boss and a campaign banner, in the run up to Small Business Saturday.
In total 24 submitted pictures, with Coun Bond and Coun Ben Curran tied on five. But judge Paul Blomfield MP said Nikki Bond had gone the extra mile by urging her colleagues to take part and visiting many more companies than the five she submitted.
Nikki was presented with the Small Business Saturday Champion Trophy by Paul Blomfield MP during the FSB’s celebration of Small Business Saturday at a pop-up shop in the city’s Fargate Christmas Market.
She also won a cream tea for two at Marco’s Restaurant on West Bar Green. The Hampton by Hilton Hotel, which houses Marco’s Restaurant, had sponsored the event and were pleased to donate a £10 voucher towards a meal at Marco’s for all the councillors who attended the award ceremony.
Vice-chairman of the FSB’s South Yorkshire Branch Steve Bradwell said: “We are delighted by the response of Sheffield’s councillors to the challenge we set them and they certainly delivered the goods and turned out in force on Saturday afternoon to help us celebrate ‘Small Business Saturday’.
“Thanks to the council’s easing of parking restrictions to allow shoppers to park free after 2pm in all its city centre parking zones on Saturdays until Christmas, the town centre was buzzing.
“We hope this will boost trade for small businesses in the coming fortnight.
“We congratulate Nikki Bond on becoming Small Business Saturday Champion, but we would add that all the councillors were winners in this challenge, in as much as the aim was to build stronger relationships between councillors and the small business community.
“We hope that the exercise has proved beneficial in getting small firms talking to their councillors.”
Neville Martin, FSB development manager, added: “It was the first year of us running the campaign and we aren’t complaining about the turnout from councillors, who are very busy people. But we hope a few more get involved next year.
“The UK economy is driven by small businesses. They make up 99 per cent of all businesses, they are the engine for the growth and job creation which underpins the rich fabric of our society and the bed rock of a stable local economy.
“Small independent businesses are instrumental in retaining the character and colour of the local community.”