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This is the current motto of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB ) and indeed it is something which is vital if we are to avoid the continuing decline of small businesses with the ever expanding presence of the supermarkets. It also plays an important part environmentally as these large conglomerates ship in more and more cheap goods from overseas in their never ending thirst for profits.

VR Sani-Co, based in Herne Bay in Kent, plays an active part in the FSB with its managing director, Martin Crowther, on the committee of the East Kent Branch, previously its secretary for a number of years.

VR Sani-Co provide Ladies Sanitary and Nappy Bin Disposal Services, along with a number of other services such as Urinal and WC Sanitising, Air Freshening, Sanitary Vending and Soap Dispensing, throughout Kent, Sussex and most of the London area.

Ever since its inception the company has made very positive efforts to secure its supplies of both goods and services as locally as possible and indeed has won a “Pride of Kent – Try Kent” award in recognition of its efforts.

The FSB in Kent has worked very hard with local councils to help develop relationships with them for its members, and this and details of the further benefits that it offers to members can be found on the FSB website. http://www.fsb.org.uk/

Despite its efforts, however, many councils are still slow to take up the challenge often continuing to use big national companies that usually contribute little or nothing to the local economy. The provision of sanitary bin disposal and other washroom services are, to the regret of local companies such as VR Sani-Co, no exception to this inertia.

Obviously it is important that the services provided by local suppliers are suitable and give good value for money, because decisions made purely on price are in the main rather short sighted, albeit probably the easiest way of deciding on the choice of supplier.

There is little doubt that keeping trade local offers many benefits to the local economy not least of all in the provision of jobs for local people and arguably a reduction in the number of heavy lorries on the local roads. Councils are responsible for the repair and upkeep of the local roads and the current state of these roads in the Canterbuiy area, and in Herne Bay in particular, is testament to the damage that can be done by very heavy traffic usage.

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