For the fourth year in a row, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) have awarded Norway's most business friendly municipality.
“KS and NHO have a common interest in creating business friendly municipalities. A well-functioning business community contributes to attractive local communities and new jobs. This year's nominees are exciting and forward-thinking,” says CEO of NHO Ole Erik Almlid.
“By promoting municipalities that stand out positively in this area, we hope to inspire others to do more. Good dialogue and understanding of different roles is important for the relationship between municipalities and business,” says chairman of KS, Gunn Marit Helgesen.
The competition awards a winner in two categories: Municipalities with over 15,000 inhabitants and municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants. Three finalists were nominated in each of the categories and Vestfold and Telemark were represented in both.
Sandefjord is business offensive and cooperation-oriented
Sandefjord was nominated in the category for over 15,000 inhabitants. They are among the top five municipalities in Norway with the highest proportion of private companies, and in the nomination the municipality is referred to as business offensive and cooperatively oriented towards the companies they host. The municipality works actively to develop commercial areas, good infrastructure, the municipality as a place to live and a good city centre. They also contribute to business finding the expertise it needs.
Business development is a central part of Sandefjord municipality's work with community development, and the business community is significantly involved in creating a strategic business plan. The municipality can point to unique entrepreneurial facilitation and culture, with over 500 business establishments annually. They take several initiatives to ensure competence, including through Globale Sandefjord, where work is being done to include the multicultural environment in order to mobilize this as a resource in working life.
Sandefjord municipality's ambition is to be the best in business development, and can demonstrate broad efforts and comprehensive measures over time to get there.
Sandefjord was first runner up in this category, where Halden was awarded first prize.
Fyresdal is committed to creating future-proof jobs
Fyresdal municipality was nominated in the category for under 15,000 inhabitants. They emphasize having a good cooperation with business. The municipal administration and business are co-located in a common office building. The municipality is in the process of rolling out the community part of the municipal plan, where the overriding objectives are to develop attractiveness for both inhabitants and business.
In order to make it easier for businesses to find enough labour, Fyresdal municipality conducts an architectural competition to develop attractive housing forms. One of the hottest tourist destinations of the year is located in Fyresdal - Tretoppveien. Here you can both stroll and roll 15 meters above the ground on a 1 km long universally designed boardwalk on poles.
The municipality works actively to ensure energy supply. Among other things, they have established MYLDR Energipark Fyresdal AS. Here they cater for a circular economy and sustainable use of resources that will create the jobs of the future.
The nomination emphasizes the good cooperation and service the municipality has towards the business community.
Fyresdal was awarded first prize in their category.