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“We aren’t ‘sleepy Norfolk’ any more” – business community shows support for Norfolk Day

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 22 February 2018

Supporters at the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Norfolk launch of Norfolk Day in Dereham's Market Place, from left, front, Mel Cook, VisitNorwich, and Ian Clarke, Archant head of news. Back, Peter Cook, Radio Norfolk and Radio Suffolk editor; Dave Powles, EDP editor; Nick Conrad, Radio Norfolk presenter; and Chris Sargisson, chief executive Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Supporters at the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Norfolk launch of Norfolk Day in Dereham's Market Place, from left, front, Mel Cook, VisitNorwich, and Ian Clarke, Archant head of news. Back, Peter Cook, Radio Norfolk and Radio Suffolk editor; Dave Powles, EDP editor; Nick Conrad, Radio Norfolk presenter; and Chris Sargisson, chief executive Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Busting the image of “sleepy” Norfolk and showcasing the “dynamism” of our county’s economy will be the goal of its business community during a day of celebration.

Norfolk Day, taking place on Friday, July 27 will be an opportunity for residents and businesses to show their pride in their home county.

But business leaders are keen for Norfolk Day – which is backed by the EDP, our sister paper the Norwich Evening News and BBC Radio Norfolk – to look forward to development opportunities for the county’s economy and its national business reputation.

Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said the county’s strength “lies in its diversity”, from high-growth start ups and SMEs to large corporates in sectors from manufacturing to finance and technology.

“We have a thriving business community with over 33,000 businesses in it, who are driving our growing economy. We now need to do more to shout about our success and potential and change to a more positive perception of Norfolk,” he said.

“It’s time to update the message, using real businesses, talking about real success.”

David Howell, East Anglia lead at the Federation of Small Businesses, agreed Norfolk Day would be a valuable opportunity for businesses to “spread the word” about themselves.

“We hope our 2,500 members in the county, whether they be in manufacturing, retail, hospitality, or food and drink, will embrace Norfolk Day and think about ways to get involved. It will be another great opportunity to showcase the diversity of the businesses that we have here,” he said.

Norfolk-based Huw Sayer, founder and director of Business Writers Ltd, said the county’s economy has “a huge amount of dynamism and energy”.

He said: “I know we have a strong agricultural heritage but we also have growing strengths in bioscience and advanced manufacturing, and companies particularly in the tech sector driving digital innovation.

“It would be a shame if we didn’t celebrate those successes, as a way to inspire young people to look at the opportunities on their doorstep and show that Norfolk is not a sleepy backwater.”

To get involved email your ideas to norfolkday@archant.co.uk, tweet @norfolk_day or log on to the Norfolk Day Facebook group.

How you and your business can get involved

We’re asking businesses around the county – whatever their trade – to get involved in Norfolk Day. If you want to take part but aren’t sure what to do, here are a few suggestions:

Open days – could you let people in behind the scenes to see what you do? Do you make a particularly special or well known product, and could show its manufacturing process to the public?

Offers – could you put on special offers for Norfolk Day? Give offers on Norfolk-themed products, or have a Norfolk theme in your showroom, shop or office?

Collaborate – can you team up with businesses in your industry to show off the expertise we have in the county? You could find space to host an event or activity together.

Education – could you organise an event to show school, college and university students why Norfolk is a great place to start and build a career or a business, and demonstrate opportunities that are available?

• To get involved email your ideas to norfolkday@archant.co.uk, tweet @norfolk or log on to the Norfolk Day Facebook group.

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