Local business celebrated at House of Lords

Burton-based Ask the Chameleon director Rachel Hayward joined some of the UK’s top small businesses to receive special recognition at an exclusive House of Lords reception.

Ask the Chameleon was recognised as one of this year’s Small Biz 100 which has been running ahead of this weekend’s Small Business Saturday, which will be celebrated across the UK on 1 December.

Ask the Chameleon, established three years ago by bid writing specialist Rachel Hayward, is one of 100 businesses across the UK who have been raising awareness of the importance of smaller businesses to the UK economy and local communities.

The campaign has highlighted one business per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday.

Rachel used her Small Biz 100 day (on Sunday November 25) to challenge fellow smaller businesses to recognise their worth through an online podcast of local entrepreneurs.

These included Annabel’s Angels which is Ask the Chameleon’s designated charity; Baasit Siddiqui from Channel 4’s ‘Gogglebox’ fame who runs Siddiqui Education delivering Let’s Pitch It workshops and Owen Conti from Derby IT company and Marketing Derby’s Rising Star, Code 56.

Miss Hayward said: “It was an honour to be invited to attend the reception at the House of Lords and to learn more about how the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses contribute to the economy.

“We had a fantastic response to our Small Biz 100 day on Sunday when the key message to other business owners was to recognise their worth as well as the need for us all to support small businesses in our region.

“I now look forward to now being part of Small Business Saturday event at the University of Derby’s Enterprise Centre on December 1 where advice will be available to start-up and more established business owners.”

Lord Young of Graffham, former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Government Adviser on enterprise and small business hosted the event which was attended by other special guests including Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

Lord Young of Graffham said: “Small Business Saturday is a vital campaign to highlight the critical role that small businesses play in fueling the British economy.

“They are the true backbone of our economy, helping to drive growth across all areas of the country. Hosting the impressive businesses in this year’s Small Biz was a huge pleasure, and it is only a small part of the recognition they deserve for their entrepreneurial spirit shown day in, day out.”

Director of Small Business Saturday UK, Michelle Ovens continued: “The Small Biz 100 represent the very best in British business at the heart of our economy. Day in day out small businesses prove themselves to be innovative, community-minded and capable of thriving in what are undoubtedly challenging times.

“They are hugely deserving of recognition and we are thrilled to have the honour of hosting this special celebration at The House of Lords.”