Blackpool awards hail responsibility

Community Philanthropy Director for the Lancashire Community Foundation Karen Morris
Community Philanthropy Director for the Lancashire Community Foundation Karen Morris
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Strong corporate social responsibility can help Fylde coast businesses thrive, according to a body set which works with some of the county’s top philanthropists.

Karen Morris, Community Philanthropy Director at the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said that consumers and other businesses were increasingly more likely to want to buy from firms with strong social credentials.

The Community Foundation works with donors who are individuals, companies, families, trusts and foundations to distribute funds for maximum impact within the donor’s chosen communities.

In partnership with Investec, it is sponsoring the Corporate Social Responsibility Award at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which is one of Lancashire’s leading business awards.

Ms Morris said: “The public is becoming increasingly savvy to the behaviour of businesses and they will look at the practices of the people they are buying goods and services from before they part with their money.

“So, having a strong reputation for being a business which recognises the importance of the communities it operates within can be the difference between a customer spending with you or not.

“The same is true with other businesses, whether that is customers, suppliers, partners, people want to do business with good businesses and good corporate social responsibility can be that difference.”

The Community Foundation is behind the BIBAs Foundation by administering a fund set up to promote enterprise across the county which is sponsored by BAE Systems, the defence firm which employs more than 10,000 people in Lancashire.

In March, the BIBAs Foundation handed out £7,000 in grants to a bodies for a range of projects which will support people seeking work, provide a sign language interpreter for a young footballer and set up a social enterprise.

That took the total it has handed out to £14,000.

Last Friday, the 12 applicants for each of the BIBAs 2016 18 prize categories to progress to the first round of interviews for the awards were informed.

The interviews get under way next Monday, May 16 when the judges for the Best Use of IT category meet. The awards ceremony will be held at the Blackpool Tower in September.