Bury St Edmunds’ Business Festival began today with 90 companies, offering everything from biscuits to wedding venues, packed into The Apex for the Menta Trade Fair and Food and Drink Expo.
It kicked off eight days of business events across St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District and was held in the town centre for the first time.
Opening the fair, St Edmundsbury’s council leader John Griffiths said: “This year’s programme run for eight days and once again includes more than 25 different partners and organisations, funding roadshows to help you access grants, funding and business advice, workshops and many other events to help your business.”
Menta’s fair has in the past been held at Ickworth House but its chief executive Alex Till said:” This is bigger. The immediate reaction has been that it is a great venue and and nice feel – the energy is good.”
Businesses were positive about the benefits of being at the fair.
Boilersense, from Needham Market, took along their plumbed-in ‘tea urns’ and sales manager Geri Robertson said: “It makes people aware of local businesses and by being here we’re supporting other local businesses.
“We got quite a bit of business from it last year with about 20 per cent coming back to us.”
Nearby, Ros Smith, marketing manager for Ravenwood Hall Hotel, said: “There are elements of the hotel people don’t know, like our conference suite. We’re showing people what we do.
“It’s the personal touch – people can go to a website and look through it but talking to someone is different. You can show you’re not rigid, that you can change things to suit them.”
For the full programme of festival events visit www.businessfestival.org or see the pull-out guide in last week’s Bury Free Press.