Lanarkshire shows it means business

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ENTREPRENEURS from more than 400 businesses recently turned out for the Lanarkshire Business Show.

The event, now in its second year, attracted over 70 business exhibitors keen to promote their products and services.

The free event, held at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, provided opportunities for local businesses to meet, find out about support available and attend a variety of workshops.

Paul Jukes, executive director of environmental services at NLC, opened the event and he said: “North Lanarkshire has been badly hit by the recession but the council remains committed to helping to grow the local economy and continuing our support for local businesses. Since 2008 we have helped over 5,000 new businesses to start up in the area and we recognise that without our local businesses there will be no jobs for our residents.”

The Business Show was organised by North and South Lanarkshire councils as part of Lanarkshire Business Week and was just one of 30 free events that took place between March 1 and 8.

A lively ‘Question Time’ style event was held as part of the week and leading banks were called to account over their practice and policies.

More than 30 Lanarkshire entrepreneurs put their views and questions to representatives from lenders and three major banks.

The face-to-face session brought together representatives of the business community with a panel of commercial lenders to discuss challenges SMEs face when trying to access to funding.

The panel members were Tom Brock of Clydesdale Bank, Nicholas Boyle of RBS and Malcolm McSporran of Santander. They were joined by Scott Webb of UK Steel Enterprise, Neil Kennedy of Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce and Andrew Dickson of West of Scotland Loan Fund.

The panel was chaired by Ronnie Smith of Business Gateway Lanarkshire. He said: “It’s fantastic to be able to bring together senior representation from three major banks and for local businesses to have the opportunity to speak directly to them and make them aware of issues they face in trying to grow their businesses.

“The involvement of UKSE, West of Scotland Loan Fund and Chamber of Commerce also helped to highlight the additional forms of support that are available locally.”

To receive details of future Lanarkshire business events, register at www.lanarkshirebusinessweek.com.