BOOKINGS for Darlington's first virtual business week are now open.

More than fifteen online workshops seminars and events will take place from Monday, October 5 until Friday 9.

Now in its fourth year, Darlington Business Week supports local businesses through shared knowledge and networking.

This event will be launched with an overview of the regional economy and a keynote speech by Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.

The week's sessions look at business resilience, recovery and diversity as well as how to grasp new opportunities like exporting and engage with customers.

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.

Darlington Council’s environmental health team will also advise on trading in a Covid-safe way.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “It would have been all too easy to postpone Business Week to next year but businesses need as much help and support as they can get in these difficult times.

"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 we work with local businesses to make them aware of the fantastic support that is available to them.

"Schemes like Kickstart, for example, is helping with funding for work and training for 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.”

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