A virtual first for Darlington Business Week

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Bookings for Darlington’s first ever virtual Business Week are now open.

More than 15 online workshops seminars and events are available during the Week which takes place from Monday-Friday October 5-9.

Now in its fourth year, Darlington Business Week aims to support local businesses.

The week will be launched with an overview of the local and regional economy and will feature a keynote speech by Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen.

Darlington Borough Council’s business investment team has brought together a wide range of local companies, partners and business support organisations to deliver the timetable of events, all hosted online.

The free sessions will help local businesses build resilience, help recovery, learn how to diversify and grasp new opportunities, including exporting, and engage with new and existing customers.

In addition, there will be dedicated support sessions and help and advice for those wishing to start their own business.

To address current trading issues, there will be specialist support workshops from Save the High Street and Business Doctors to help those sectors hardest hit by the pandemic – retail, leisure and hospitality.

Businesses taking part will also have the chance to learn more about working digitally, building a brand and customer loyalty, and how to access financial support.

Darlington Council’s Environmental Health team will deliver advice on trading in a Covid safe way and there will be a workshop on doing business with the public sector.

There will also be updates on developments around human resources and health and safety.

The week will bring together professional skills and experience from local companies as well as the Tees Valley Combined Authority, TEDCO, Darlington College and NEPO.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “Due to Covid-19, we’ve all had to find ways of doing things differently and our Business Week is a prime example of this. It would have been all too easy to postpone it to next year.

“However, businesses need as much help and support as they can get in these difficult times and I am delighted that our team has been able to pull out all the stops, with the help of partners, to ensure the Week goes ahead.

“It is essential that we work with local businesses to make them aware of the fantastic level of support that is available to them.

“Schemes such as Kickstart for example, which is helping to provide funding to provide work and training for our young people.

“Business Week will be a fantastic opportunity to find out more about this and many other areas of help and support to ensure our economy recovers and thrives.

“I urge all local businesses of any size to look at what’s on offer. The events are free, online and very relevant to many business areas.”