Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 09.48.37Thirsty Thursday, Stokesley’s popular networking event for local businesses, will welcome a special guest when it returnsnext Thursday celebrating its first anniversary.

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, has praised organisers for their commitment to supporting local businesses and their continued enthusiasm for encouraging more people to get involved in their networking event.

Mr Sunak will attend next week’s Thirsty Thursday, which takes place at The Mill on Springfield in Stokesley between 5-7pm.

Stokesley business women, Anna Addison and Sue Thompson, launched the free, informal networking event last November and since then, hundreds of businesses have taken part and each event regularly attracts over 40 different organisations.

Many have now started to work together on various projects, both commercial and community-based. In addition, thanks to funding, Thirsty Thursday launched its own website http://www.thirstythursdaystokesley.co.uk/ with the help of a grant from ‘How’s Business’, an organisation funded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), one of 39 LEPs tasked by government to help the local economy to grow.

And in June, Anna and Sue came in the top three of the Hambleton Business Awards’ ‘Hambleton Champion’ category beating off competition from 10 other local organisations.

Rishi Sunak said: “I am delighted to hear that Thirsty Thursday is celebrating its first anniversary. I know from my own business career how important networking can be to start a new enterprise or to grow an existing one. Making good contacts is essential in that process and I commend what Anna Addison and Sue Thompson have done in establishing Thirsty Thursday.”

Anna said: “The aim of the free get-together is to allow businesses of all sizes to meet informally once a month to share advice, ideas and opportunities. What is most encouraging is the consistent growth in numbers at each event. We get a great mix of large and small businesses, regulars and new faces and we hope that this continues to provide results for companies in our local area.”

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Sue added: “It’s amazing to think that what started as the two of us deciding to meet for a drink to discuss our businesses has turned into a regular event that has attracted hundreds of companies and supported many people as they establish and grow. We’ve had some great support from our local community, the team at The Mill and now also our local MP.”

For more details http://www.thirstythursdaystokesley.co.uk/

Date: –                  Thursday 19th November

Time: –                  5-7pm

Place: –                 The Mill, Springfield, Stokesley