Darlington Business Week Success
Hundreds of local and regional businesses came along to the second annual Darlington Business Week,
held across a range of venues in the town last month, arranged by the council’s business support team.
Networking breakfasts and workshops were on the cards as business owners and representatives took advantage of 16 free events that offered the chance to meet fellow business people and find out how they can access what’s on offer to help them grow and develop their company.
Highlights included a Business Summit, which saw business leaders and public figures get together to find out more about how, and where, more than 7,000 jobs will be created in Darlington over the next 18 years. The event also included research into how the borough can grow its professional, business and financial services sectors.
Advice on accessing grants, raising finance, legal issues, social media, marketing, financial planning and digital services were all on offer throughout the week. A wide range of partner organisations contributed, including the North East England Chamber of Commerce, Darlington Business Club and the Tees Engineering Network to ensure that as many sectors as possible were represented.
Charlotte Nicols, owner of Harvey & Hugo PR, a partner in Darlington Business Week said: “We were delighted to get involved in Darlington Business Week by both hosting two events and attending plenty of others. It’s wonderful that the town puts on such a week to support businesses and it was great to see the positive response from companies both in and outside of Darlington. I’m excited for what next year will bring as it keeps on getting bigger and better.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen presented a Business Growth and Funding event, where he shared details of the funding opportunities across the Tees Valley region through devolution money from central Government. The week was rounded off with a community litter pick, pie and a pint event hosted by Darlington Cares and sponsored by the Hole in the Wall pub.
Calder’s Kitchen owner Andrew Calder said: “I found the Going For Growth event really useful. As a small business that is rapidly growing, understanding where to find help and good advice about funding can be a minefield. It’s reassuring to know that there is a lot of support and good advice on our doorstep, here in Darlington. We’ll be sure to take advantage of this and work with the contacts we made on the night moving forward.”
One of the most popular events of the week was the Jobs Fair, held in the Dolphin Centre, which saw hundreds of people given the opportunity to meet prospective employers, hand in CVs and access support to develop their interviewing and CV writing skills.
Mark Carrigan, the council’s business investment manager, said: “The week was a great success with a fantastic exchange of ideas, advice, support and knowledge. Many thanks to our partners who hosted events and who helped make the week possible.
“There is a huge amount of support and advice available to businesses of all sizes, but finding a way through the maze of forms and regulations can be confusing and time consuming. Luckily, our team is on hand to help applicants find a way through to access the help on offer – practical as well as financial. All it takes is a call or an email and we’ll be there to help.”
Business support and advice is available through the year from the council’s business support team. Call 406305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org