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Business conference to hear about the challenges facing local small businesses

The FSB in Warwickshire and Coventry is holding its annual small business conference at Warwick School in November. A panel of speakers will discuss the current challenges facing small businesses and debate how those challenges can be overcome to help future proof small businesses.
Delegates will hear from an expert panel of speakers including the Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal, award-winning Leamington Spa Business owner Sarah Horne and Richard Lane Senior Lecturer from Coventry University. 
Paul was appointed as the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner in 2017 by Government to tackle late payments and unfavourable payment practices in the private sector. With late payments being the biggest challenge facing small businesses, Paul will speak about his role and current priorities as the Small Business Commissioner. 
Award-winning, Leamington-based small business owner Sarah Horne has spent 38 years in the floral design business demonstrating all over the world. Alongside being founder of Sarah Horne Flowers, she is now the CEO of a new company, Sarah Horne Botanicals, selling giftware and homeware. Sarah is also the chair of the Leamington Business Improvement District. Sarah will be speaking about her business journey and the current challenges facing our high streets. 
Richard Lane has a background in the games industry and has experience of starting a video production business working with a number of multi-national companies. He has recently taken a role as a senior lecturer with the Government-backed Institute of Coding at Coventry University and will be speaking about how they have been tasked with closing the UK Digital Skills gap with a focus on augmented and virtual reality. 
The panel will also feature Ian O’Donnell who represents small businesses on the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Business Advisory Group set up by the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.
The event will be chaired by Sarah Windrum, FSB West Midlands Policy representative. 
Sarah Windrum says “I am really looking forward to chairing this event. We have a fantastic line up of speakers who will be discussing some of the most important issues facing small businesses from the changing face of the high street and late payments though to digital skills and the use of future technologies. The event will provide an exciting platform to debate how we can work together to make small businesses more sustainable. I actively encourage small business owners across Coventry and Warwickshire, and beyond, to attend and join the conversation”.  
The conference is part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival on 27 November at 6pm. It’s free to attend and our guests will have the opportunity to network. Businesses can book via the Business Festival website.