Organisers of Berwick’s first trade fair have vowed to build on the success of this week’s event by making it bigger and better next year.
The inaugural Berwick and Borders Business Show at the Swan Centre on Tuesday attracted 67 firms from Northumberland and the Borders and more than 200 visitors.
The figures far outweigh what organisers had initially predicted when they came up with the idea to celebrate and showcase small and medium-sized firms in the area.
Andrew Charlton of Exposure Events said: “When we were asked to stage this event we thought 30 or 40 businesses would be a good result. To have so many is tremendous.”
The impressive level of support for the venture has convinced organisers that the show can grow and become an annual event.
“We could hold this every 12 months or even every six months; that would be fantastic,” said John Moses, chairman of the Better Business Forum, which organised the event.
“The business community needs to work together, so to do this on annual basis would be very easy.”
Martin Fairbairn, the forum’s secretary, added: “It is fare, far better than we ever anticipated. When we came up with the idea, we never dreamt it could grow to this size, so hopefully it can go on every year and get bigger and bigger.”
The forum itself was only set up in Berwick 12 months ago, and has gone from strength to strength.
Mr Moses explained: “We’ve not only helped businesses get access to funding, but we’ve created at least three apprenticeships that I’m aware of.”
The initial purpose of the not-for-profit organisation was to assist businesses in Northumberland and the Borders to network and grow business opportunities together.
But by launching a new business show it has already surpassed the expectation of its members.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” added Mr Moses. “Not only does the show help businesses link with businesses, but it also gives the public access to businesses they would not normally have access to. We had everything from debt collecting companies to jewellery makers. There was such a wide range.
“It is not just an opportunity to network among themselves, but also to let the general public what is out here. We need to shop local and we need to buy local.”