A new initiative to support small businesses in Watford has been announced.

Peter Taylor, Watford mayor, signed the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Local Leadership Partnership Pledge, alongside Suzanna Austin, FSB development manager, in December.

Their signatures marked the first adoption of this pledge within Hertfordshire and the six counties in the East of England.

Mayor Taylor, said: "I am delighted that the council is recognised as a Local Leadership Partner by FSB here in Watford.

"We understand the value of smaller businesses and the vitality they bring to our local economy.

"We've been encouraging residents to ‘shop local’ and are making sure that small to medium-sized businesses are included in Watford’s decision-making."

The pledge commits Watford Borough Council to work with the FSB to communicate the needs of small businesses in Watford.

The council pledges to continue promoting a supportive environment in which small businesses and local communities can prosper.

Suzanna Austin, FSB's development manager, said: "With the ongoing cost of doing business crisis, it is fantastic to see Watford Borough Council embrace FSB’s Partnership Pledge.

"Watford already do so much to embed small business needs across departments, to create an environment where small businesses and communities can thrive, requires ongoing change as SMEs navigate a variety of new challenges."