A treasure trove for small businesses

THE TENTH annual Horsham Microbiz was held on Saturday 10 March and organisers, Horsham District Council, billed it as ‘a treasure trove for small businesses’.

Judging by the markedly enthusiastic feedback from exhibitors and visitors, Microbiz 2012 fully lived up to its promise. More than 500 visitors poured into The Drill Hall in Horsham.

The atmosphere throughout the entire day was buzzing say organisers with exhibitors and visitors alike doing business and swapping business cards, whilst hundreds of delegates soaked up the valuable advice provided at the eight free business training seminars.

The tenth birthday of Horsham Microbiz was celebrated in style with birthday balloons bobbing all around the hall and a fantastic birthday cake supplied by Cakes by Sharon Walker which featured all the sponsors’ logos. Many of the exhibitors were running tenth birthday special offers to support the celebrations.

Horsham Microbiz was officially opened by John Peel OBE, Chairman of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. John has supported Microbiz throughout the years, after opening the first event in 2003.

John also judged the best dressed exhibition stands, a task that proved to be far from easy. A few weeks earlier, exhibitors had attended a Microbiz exhibition skills masterclass, at which they were shown how to create a stunning exhibition stand. The high standard of the stands on display suggested that many of the tips from that masterclass had been taken on board.

After much consideration, the award for the best dressed large exhibition stand went to BritWeb and the award for best dressed small exhibition stand went to OFFLOAD Business Resources.

Most of the visitors that attended this year’s Microbiz event were small business owners looking to network, take advantage of the free business seminars and source new suppliers.

There were also visitors who were thinking of starting a business, who came along seeking inspiration and solid advice.

The exhibitors also gave thumbs up to the event, with strong camaraderie between all those exhibiting at the event and the vibrant and warm atmosphere that made the day so enjoyable from beginning to end. It was generally agreed by the Horsham business community that the tenth Microbiz Fair was the most successful year ever.

Roger Paterson (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for the local economy, said: “Many congratulations to Horsham’s small business community for making this year’s Microbiz Fair such a huge success.

“There can be no better advertisement than the number of successful exhibitors who were themselves originally visitors to an earlier fair.

“No wonder Horsham District has the highest number of start up businesses in West Sussex with the best record of long term success.”

Horsham Microbiz was sponsored by: Bennett Griffin LLP, Chichester College, Coast to Capital, Dee Blick, FSB, Foundry Press, Horsham Pages, Holbrook Pages and Southwater Life, Horsham Training Centre, Spofforths, West Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Times, West Sussex Gazette and Horsham Advertiser. On behalf of all the Microbiz exhibitors and visitors, Horsham District Council would like to thank all the sponsors for their generous support.

For further information, email business.development@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215264.