Maree Atkinson is well-known across the Hertfordshire business community for being the woman in the little Federation of Small Businesses-branded Smart car.
She has been zipping around Herts and South Bedfordshire as an advisor for the business advice and pressure group for the last 10 years, giving help to company owners and entrepreneurs.
John Walker, the FSB’s national chairman, took time out to congratulate Maree. He said: “We are proud of the work Maree has done in her 10 years with the FSB. Not only does she guide business owners through the comprehensive support the FSB provides, but she gives support and encouragement whatever the business does.
“She also goes that extra mile to link businesses with other suitable support organisations.”
“The consequence of her hard work is that she is highly respected, has won many awards and now the local area is one of the largest FSB membership branches in the UK.
“There are a massive 3,300 FSB members in Hertfordshire alone and another 1,200 in Luton and South Beds which is a true testament to Maree’s work but also how the FSB helps businesses.”
FSB regional chairman Charles Smith said: “The FSB regionally has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years. She knows literally hundreds of businesses of every size, profession and experience and aims to understand their needs, frustrations and celebrates their successes too.
“Getting to know what a business does is important. This ranges from a very large business perhaps with employment or health and safety problems.
“It could equally be a small business working from home with issues like chasing outstanding payments, wanting to reduce costs, sorting out legal needs and looking at ways to increase networking with others. Every business owner is assured of the same level of attention and help.”
As part of a UK-wide team of membership advisers, and having experience of running her own business, Maree meets businesses up and down the corridors of the M1, A1 and A10.
The first person Maree enrolled to the FSB, Fred McBreen of Base 52 Accountants in Hitchin, said: “She has helped so many businesses grow, we’re proud of you Maree.”