Business DurhamThe Durham Business Information Exchange (DBIE) will bring together more than 50 business support organisations under the same roof to showcase how they can help businesses to start up and grow.

The event is new and thought up by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham.

The Durham Business Information Exchange is being held in Chester-le-Street at the Durham County Cricket Club on Friday September 16, and in Newton Aycliffe at the Xcel Centre on September 20. Businesses can drop in between 9am and noon.

Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director for Business Durham, explains further: “We work with many different businesses every day and become their trusted guide, helping them grow and thrive in County Durham.

“It became clear to us that there was a need to bring the business support organisations together so businesses can see all at once the breadth and depth of advice and help available to them. It can seem confusing and certainly the landscape can change frequently so this is a great opportunity for businesses to chat to a variety of business support organisations on the same day.”

Business Durham is pleased to announce that Lloyds Bank is sponsoring the Durham Business Information Exchanges as part of its Manufacturing Growth Programme.

Sonya Atkins, area director for SME Banking in Durham & Wearside, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This inaugural event is a great opportunity for local businesses to come down and get expert guidance from a range of specialist advisers who really understand the regional business landscape.

“Durham remains an exciting place to do business and through our support of this event and our network of specialist local relationship managers, we are confident we can continue to help firms in the region meet their individual growth objectives and make a real contribution to the area’s bright economic outlook.”

Exhibitors at DBIE will be clustered together in zones: finance, skills training and talent, sectors, start up, NETPark Net innovation and business park communities. The event is open to people thinking about setting up a business or who have already started a business. Existing businesses will find services that can support them to export, to take on apprenticeships, recruit, implement training, and funding, or can get specific assistance in the space, automotive, process, defence, digital, creative ,and service sectors.

Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The economy is one of our top priorities and we welcome every opportunity to help businesses in County Durham start up and grow. I would encourage all businesses to come along and find out about new support programmes to help win more custom, and opportunities to explore networks to help sustain and grow your business.”

For the Chester-le-Street event, visit www.businessdurham.co.uk/dbienorth

For the Newton Aycliffe event, visit www.businessdurham.co.uk/dbiesouth