Local Conservatives have called on Milton Keynes Council to provide additional support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) by providing discounted advertisement spaces to promote their services on Council commercial properties such as roundabouts, roads and bus shelters.
As it stands, MK Council are facing a £250,000 loss on the upcoming 2021/22 Council Budget due to a decline in sponsorship income from businesses seeking to market their name and be more visible to the public.
However, Conservatives believe there is an opportunity for the Council to do more to support businesses that are struggling to survive the pandemic. They say that empty advertising spaces should be offered either at a discount or free to SMES for a temporary period.
MK has many avenues for sponsorship income in the city. With 133 roundabouts available for business sponsorship, marketing opportunities are readily available. Other assets that can be sponsored include bus shelters, bridges and council properties.
The Conservatives hope that providing discounted marketing rates for business will not only positively impact the businesses marketing their services, but also local employment as local contractors would be required to undertake the maintenance of assets and signage works.
The matter was also discussed at Budget Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday evening when Cllr Allan Rankine raised the idea.
Cllr Allan Rankine, the Finance Spokesperson for the Conservative Group, said:
“We should be doing all we can to promote local businesses when many are struggling due to the pandemic.
By providing discounted marketing to small and medium sized businesses using accessible to the Council, we can turn a negative into a positive by promoting local businesses and generating income to reinvest in MK."