HARTLEPOOL will host a top-level conference aimed at the bosses of small businesses.
The town has been chosen for the regional dinner and annual meeting of the Federation of Small Businesses, to be held at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, on Thursday, November 21.
Organisers say it’s a chance for the town to show its vibrancy after the magazine The Economist published a report branding the town as “decaying”, “despite dollops of public money and years of heroic effort”.
Hartlepool FSB branch chair Pam Hargreaves said she was “looking forward to welcoming businesses from around the region to our town, particularly in the light of the recent debate stimulated in The Economist.”
She added: “Despite the negative comments made about the town I believe that there are lots of positive signs of development and improvement.”
The guest speaker will be the federation’s national chairman John Allan. Keynote speaker will be Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, the Shadow Minister for Competitiveness & Enterprise in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Pam praised Hartlepool for “an incredible amount of talent and a number of businesses providing world-class, unique and world-leading technology and services.
“We are really hoping for a good show of Hartlepool businesses at the regional dinner to illustrate to the rest of the region just how vibrant our business community actually is.
“The best way to counteract the views of misguided visitors is to show them just how robust and determined we are and through our success.”
The proceedings start with the FSB annual meeting from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, for FSB members.
It will be followed by a drinks reception from 7.30pm and the dinner from 8pm to 11pm. Tickets for the dinner cost £10 for FSB members and £25 for non-members and guests.
They are available from https://northeastregionalagm.eventbrite.com/