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York Business Week 2021 returns

The image includes eight people standing on York city walls with the York Minster far in the background.
Executive Council Members and Members of the Economic Development Team with York Business Week 2021 partners.

Published Monday, 11 October 2021

An overview of York Business Week 2021 which will include a week-long programme of virtual and in-person events to inspire growth and highlight available business support in York.

York Business Week is set to make a comeback between Monday 8 November to Friday 12 November with this year’s theme of “Rebuilding for Growth”. The week long programme of events is organised by City of York Council and hosted in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, York BID, Make it York, the University of York, York St John University, York & North Yorkshire LEP and the Ad:venture Programme.

Now in its 11th year, the week aims to engage and connect the business community in York through topical conferences, seminars and networking events that cater to the current needs of businesses of all sizes. Building on last year’s virtual events, this year’s week will also incorporate several in-person events.

In keeping with the tradition of the week, the programme kicks off with the York Business Conference, welcoming a series of expert speakers who will be sharing their insights and views on the challenges and opportunities facing local and regional businesses. The focus of this year’s Conference is rebuilding for growth, exploring the Good Business Charter, the new labour market, and what businesses can do to accelerate growth.

The speaker line-up for the day includes;

  • Julian Richer - entrepreneur, philanthropist and the force behind the Good Business Charter
  • Jon Geldart - Institute of Directors, Director General
  • Helen Simpson OBE - Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Dr. Roger Barker - Director of Policy and Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors
  • Mark Essex - Director of Skills, KPMG in the UK

The programme for the rest of the week will include a series of sessions covering topics such as;

  • essential business skills
  • launching start-ups
  • mental health
  • wellbeing in the workplace
  • the wide range of careers in hospitality

York Business Week 2021 will also promote business growth while being environmentally conscious. Sessions will focus on what businesses can do to reduce their emissions, make most of the benefits of being sustainable, investing in green skills for all types of employment, as well as support available for businesses from York’s two Local Enterprise Partnerships.

The Council’s Economic Growth team will host an event on reconfiguring workspace post-Covid, as well as a session focusing on business support and the funding opportunities currently available to York businesses. As a part of the Business Week, York Science Park will be conducting one hour guided tours of the redeveloped Guildhall building for perspective occupiers.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Council leader, said:

"Throughout the pandemic, we’ve worked to establish valuable city partnerships that have proved to be crucial in the Council’s response to the challenges of the last 19 months."

This year’s Business Week will see this partnership continue, as local, regional, national and international speakers and businesses will come together to discuss the current challenges and opportunities facing the city.

"I would encourage local businesses to take this opportunity to share their experiences and join York’s collaborative and innovative business community. I know that this will help us to continue to drive progress and support our local economy."

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive member for Economy and Strategic planning, said:

"Supporting York’s businesses and retaining employment across the whole city continue to be our focus, particularly as we work to facilitate a strong and sustainable local economic recovery. The feedback from last year’s Business Week played a big role in shaping our local response to the challenges facing businesses across the city. Whilst there is very promising progress being made in our local economic recovery, with footfall and spend returning to high levels, there are many businesses who are still facing major challenges and are in need of support."

I hope that the range of events provided during the York Business Week programme this year will offer practical support, inspiration as well as new opportunities to local businesses of all sizes.

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager York and North Yorkshire, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

York Business week is an exciting programme of activity which brings together businesses of all sizes across the City. At the FSB we encourage our members to engage in the events, which can provide inspiration and new thinking, which is particularly important as we all recover from the pandemic. A wonderful opportunity, not only to network, but to learn and grow as a business owner or company.

York Business Week 2021 aims to support businesses, inspire growth and offer opportunities for better innovation and development. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the city’s business community and innovation strengths.

To make the programme accessible to everyone, all events within York Business Week will be free to attend. Visit for the full schedule, further information and to book tickets to this year’s events.

From left to right, the image shows:

  • Charles Storr - Sector Development Manager, City of York Council
  • Councillor Andrew Waller - Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning
  • Mrudula Jadhav - Communications and Engagement Officer, City of York Council
  • Sarah Czarnecki - Deputy Chair, Hospitality Association York
  • Ian Garner - Vice Chair North Yorkshire, Institute of Directors
  • Andrew Digwood - Rollits LLP, Vice President of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
  • Councillor Keith Aspden - Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Policy, Strategy and Partnerships
  • Chris Bush - Business Manager, York BID
  • Stuart Ross - Economic Development Programme Leader for Enterprise Growth, Leeds City Council