THE Northallerton Business Network has celebrated its sixth anniversary supporting residents set up and develop their own firms.

The business network, which until recently known as First Monday Network, said it had gone from strength to strength after the number of attendees at its monthly meetings had grown to about 40 people.

Gill Carnell, co-founder of Northallerton Business Network, said: "We want to bring people together with the aim of business improvement while also helping to promote their business to others.

"It's all very informal and relaxed. There is no hard sell, no prescribed outcomes, and no pressure. I think because of this approach, people genuinely enjoy attending and make lasting business connections at the same time."

Ms Carnell, who is also the owner of Secrets of Software, praised those who volunteered their time for the group.

She said: "Thanks to our valuable volunteer organisers and our growing membership we have gone from strength to strength and now have regular meeting attendances of 30 to 40 people."

Northallerton Business Group, which claims residents can get together to socialise, exchange ideas, learn new skills, discuss issues and generate new business, holds its meetings without charge.

Ms Carnell added that the event helped reduce the isolation associated with being self-employed.

She said: "Whilst running your own business means it’s great not having anyone to answer to, it’s not so good having no one to talk to.

"Networking helps reduce the isolation that can be associated with self-employment."