Vision for a GBC City, Town, County or Region
The vision of the Good Business Foundation, the charity that runs the Good Business Charter, is to see the GBC promoted across all sectors in a particular town, city, county or region as something to aspire to and sign up to. We see the local council as essential to this being embraced as a place-based initiative, alongside other key organisations who can give the accreditation the necessary credibility to inspire others to join.
The local NHS trust, a University within the town/city if applicable, and one or two of the largest private sector employers would form a good foundation to then promote it to other organisations, large and small. We would envisage a town, city or county would need at least 3 of the following achieving GBC accreditation:
- Local Council (essential)
- NHS Trust
- A large private sector employer
These would then form the core, working with the Good Business Foundation, and connected into the regional TUC, IoD and FSB offices to help promote it. This would be our definition of a GBC town, city or county, rather than specifying a percentage of businesses signing up. If there was interest to adopt the GBC at a regional level, at least one of the Councils in the area would be expected to accredit and champion the GBC.
Benefits of a GBC Place-based Scheme
Adopting the Good Business Charter across a town, city or county will have all the benefits of a local Employment Charter in terms of better working conditions for employees but without the administration and resource required to set up one’s own individual scheme. The Good Business Charter also goes wider than these employment-based charters by including a commitment to paying taxes, the environment, customers and suppliers which we believe are all important to responsible and ethical business.
The GBC is more beneficial for a company whose operations straddle more than one city as they do not need to submit applications to a myriad of different local schemes, each with its own process and criteria. At a time of limited resources this type of consistent approach has huge benefits, avoiding a patchwork of different Charters across the country.
Being a GBC city promotes that town or city as a great place to work in where employees are valued, taxes are paid and suppliers, customers and the environment are treated responsibly. It would provide excellent PR for the city and its businesses.
The GBC is free for the first year with only nominal costs thereafter and accreditation is through a simple self-certification online process. Companies may have a cost in bringing their staff up to real living wage and paying the Living Wage Foundation subscription, though this is also kept low.
As part of launching the initiative we suggest identifying the target organisations listed above for strategic adoption of the GBC as well as other contacts to build up momentum at a grassroots level as an initial pilot group, favouring a mix of sectors and sizes of organisation. The local tourist board would be expected to help in the marketing of the GBC town, city or county as a tremendous good news story which would attract visitors to the area.
In June 2021 York became the first city to adopt the GBC as a place-based scheme to promote to businesses and other organisations in the city. Key organisations in the city who have signed up to the charter include the City of York Council, the University of York, Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It is hoped other cities across the country will follow York’s example and champion signing up to the Charter.
Cllr Keith Aspden, City of York Council said: “The Good Business Charter will help us ensure that York’s residents have access to the best working conditions, with fairness, representation, diversity and a shared commitment to our environmental responsibilities at the core of our employment standards.
“While it is important that the City of York Council shows its support for the GBC, I am delighted that some of our city’s most prominent employers have also chosen to do so, and look forward to more joining them. Working together, as the first Good Business Charter city, will help us to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future for our community.
“York has always been a pioneering city, and it is great that we are first in the UK to sign up to such an important initiative.”
Organisers say the need for GBC York has never been more important as the city, which plays host to a significant tourism and hospitality sector, continues its recovery from the impact of the pandemic and embarks on the need for inclusive economic growth. See what other York partners had to say in our press release.
How can my town, city or council get involved?
We would love to see other towns and cities across the UK replicate what is happening in York. This could also be extended to regional or county level depending on how the local authorities work in a particular area. To discuss this further, please email CEO, Jenny Herrera firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07703 453862.