SUFFOLK MP Matthew Hancock, who became minister for business and education in last week’s Government reshuffle, has backed Suffolk’s Business Month campaign ahead of its official launch tomorrow (September 12).

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Speaking as more than 80 business leaders prepare to meet at University Campus Suffolk to promote Suffolk as a place to invest and expand businesses, Mr Hancock said: “Suffolk Business Month is a great initiative, designed to promote the best that the county has to offer. Suffolk has a tremendously diverse range of businesses which trade locally, nationally and internationally, and I hope that many of them will take advantage of the opportunities offered by Business Month.”

Other organisations backing Suffolk Business Month include the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, the East of England Energy Group, the Suffolk Heritage Coast Market Towns Initiative and business advice organisations NWES and Menta.

The first-ever Suffolk Business Month is an opportunity to hold up key examples such as OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft, Aspall, Adnams and the ports of Felixstowe and Ipswich as proof of the international business success that can be achieved in the county. Suffolk County Council has already received more than 1000 e-mails and calls from people asking about the campaign.

It’s also a chance for business leaders to learn more about what is being done to make Suffolk a more business-friendly environment. Work to address local skills shortages in some sectors, improve the employability of young people and create a broadband network fit for the 21st century are all major reasons for businesses, large or small, to think about Suffolk when they are looking to set up or expand.

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “Through Suffolk Business Month, we’re making a concerted effort to raise the profile of Suffolk as a place to invest, expand businesses and live.

“There are so many opportunities for businesses to thrive in Suffolk. Aspall near Stowmarket, Adnams in Southwold and the ports of Felixstowe and Ipswich are all great examples of the international business success that can be achieved in our county. What’s vital is that other business leaders know about these opportunities and are encouraged to capitalise on them.

“Through our Raising the Bar programme, Suffolk County Council is already working to address local skills shortages in some sectors, as well as improving the employability of our young people. Our multi million broadband programme is another major reason for businesses to think about Suffolk when they are looking to set up or expand.”

Other events being held across the county include a seminar on how to access business finance (in Lowestoft) and a conference on the tourism industry in Suffolk (in Ipswich).

● Full details of all the events and how to book, as well as the Suffolk Business Month showcase companies, can be found on Suffolk County Council’s website via www.suffolk.gov.uk

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