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Trading for Good pilot service goes live in Cambridge

Cambridge has been selected as the city to test a major new digital service aimed at helping small businesses become more socially responsible.

Trading for Good, pioneered by Cambridge-based communications company Excell Group, is undergoing a pilot during April and May ahead of a nationwide launch in early summer.

The pilot was announced today (Monday 23 April) by business minister Norman Lamb at an event at the Cambridge office of Ernst & Young.

Trading for Good aims to improve the reputation and publicity for small businesses by showcasing the good work they do in their communities. It also offers a range of toolkits and advice to encourage small businesses to get more involved.

Trading for Good has already won grant funding from Visa Europe and government business department BIS.

It is being championed by a range of other organisations including the British Retail Consortium, Dods, the Federation of Small Business, the Forum of Private Business and the Institute of Directors.

Within the Cabinet Office, Trading for Good is sponsored by Philip Green, the former chief executive of United Utilities who is now an advisor to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, as well as Norman Lamb.

Kay Allen, founder of Trading for Good, said: "In the long run, we're looking for half a million small businesses to sign up. To ensure the service operates as smoothly as possible, we've selected about 50 small businesses in Cambridge to pioneer the service for us. We'll use their feedback to refine and improve the service as well as making them among the first group we can help with customer, stakeholder and business-to-business relationships."

Darren Strowger, chairman of Excell Group, said: "I am enormously proud that Excell Group is the lead organisation delivering this important new digital service. It's important that small business as a whole can stand up and show the world we are a force for good. At Excell Group, we undertake a lot of charitable activities, including our support for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Apart from the social good this helps deliver, we ourselves have found that doing good as a business is good for our business."

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