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The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is appointing a new Small Business Champion to ensure that the needs and interests of small businesses are taken into account throughout the LEP’s decision-making.

Jo Smedley, Managing Director of Red Herring Games in Grimsby, will take up the role in September after being successful in an open recruitment process.

Jo has been an advocate of small businesses in Northern Lincolnshire and the Humber, since 2007 when she established her firm Red Herring Games, which supplies murder mystery entertainment internationally.

Jo has been a member of BNI for five years, and is also a member of the Culture Works artistic network and the Totally Locally group in Grimsby.  She has taken responsibility in the celebration of Small Business Saturday in Grimsby for the last two years and currently acts as an export champion for the Department of International Trade.

Jo commented on her appointment to the Humber LEP Board:

“I’m really excited to join the Humber LEP as Small Business Champion.  To be given the chance to put a voice for small businesses at the heart of the LEP is an amazing opportunity.

“There is lots of potential for small business growth within our region and I’m looking forward to supporting the LEP’s connections with the small business community.”

The LEP’s support for small businesses includes the Humber Business Growth Hub, which offers free and impartial advice and signposting to all business support.  The Growth Hub is expanding this year with new support for businesses to improve their use of technology and become investment-ready.

The LEP also offers grants to support business expansions, and through the Growing the Humber programme has so far invested over £25m in Humber businesses – enabling them to create more than 2,500 jobs.

LEP Chair Lord Haskins said:

“I am delighted that Jo is joining the LEP Board.  With Jo’s skills and experience she will make a valuable contribution to our work at a very important time, and ensure that opportunities to help small businesses to grow are fully captured as we develop our industrial strategy.”