Over four days earlier this month the popular BBC programme Countryfile staged their live event at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
With over 120 000 visitors this was an ideal opportunity to press the ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ button for our rural small businesses. The Rural Business Awards were curating the Rural Business Theatre element on behalf of sponsors O2, contacts were made and a rallying call to members issued by Development Manager, Carolyn Frank.
There was plenty of opportunity for the views, challenges, successes and fears of rural small business owners to be heard thanks to the daily discussion forums and on stage interviews each afternoon.
The response from visitors to the event was very positive with good audiences for each of the sessions. Our Members were able to put their points directly to representatives of such organisations as Amazon, O2, NFU and British Business Bank.
FSB Members represented professional services, artisan crafts, farming, training providers, a timber merchant, cake decorator & event managers, a cleaning firm and an independent retailer with great representation too from younger entrepreneurs, women in business and the LGBT+ community, which all demonstrated just how diverse rural small businesses can be.
Brand new members Charlotte Rooke, from Apple Charlotte, and Emma Stothard, from Emma Stothard Sculpture, thoroughly enjoyed volunteering to help get the key FSB messages out to a wider audience.
Amy Hare from White Horse Business Services commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed meeting and chatting to everyone” and “I loved doing it and having the opportunity to talk about my business. I have had lots of social media engagement off the back of it which is fab!” It all goes to show that it’s worth staying in touch with the Area Team and responding to the call to represent your organisation.
We were also able to showcase our Members who had their own stands at the event (Duncombe Sawmills) and also sing the praises of our National FSB Awards finalists, Kemps General Store. All in all a very memorable event for FSB North Yorkshire.