NI SME Business Conference Set For Half Day Event

Two Weeks To Go for NI SME Business Conference & Expo 2023

Two Weeks To Go for NI SME Business Conference & Expo 2023

The Annual NI SME Business Conference & Expo, hosted by one of Northern Ireland’s largest membership organisations, Newry Chamber, is now just two weeks away.

The half-day event will take place on Thursday 28th September at the Canal Court Hotel & Spa in Newry and over 200 delegates have already registered. 

You can book your place for the conference at:

The event is supported by Principal Sponsors, Newry Mourne and Down District Council and Supporting Sponsors, Federation of Small Businesses NI, British Business Bank and Southern Regional College.

It is open to all organisations from across Northern Ireland, not just the Greater Newry Area.

The conference is FREE to attend for Newry Chamber and FSB NI Members and £50.00 + Booking Fee for Non-Members.

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided and the full conference programme can be viewed HERE.

The conference will feature over 20 expert speakers and over 20 exhibitors will also be there on the day to provide support and advice across a range of areas to delegates.

There will be six one-hour workshops covering the most topical issues for SMEs.

The workshops will cover Finance & the Economy, Smart Business Practices, Sales & Marketing, Recruiting & Retaining Talent.

Also there will be two sectoral workshops covering the Future of High Streets and Tourism as an Economic Driver. 

Julie Gibbons, President of Newry Chamber said: “We regularly engage with our members to better understand what the current challenges they face are and the opportunities they see.

“This conference is all about connecting our SME business community with each other and with organisations that can support them.”

“The Greater Newry Area is a vibrant business region. Despite the challenges of rising interest rates, high inflation, skills and staff shortages, there is a still a huge ambition for growth.

“The conference allows businesses to learn from each other and raise awareness of what supports are available to them.” 

“We are extremely grateful to our sponsors Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, FSB NI, the British Business Bank and SRC.

“Without their support we could not run this, not to be missed, conference.”

Cllr Valerie Harte, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

Valerie Harte, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said: “We are delighted to support Newry Chamber with this important initiative. 

“As a Council, one of our key objectives is to support the development and growth of our businesses. 

“This conference offers a vital opportunity for businesses to learn of the range of business supports on offer right across our District. 

“The Council’s own business support programmes will be promoted at this event and I encourage local companies to contact the Council to find out more on the support available.”

Susan McKane, Senior Manager NI of the British Business Bank said: “There is such a rich tapestry of smaller businesses right across Northern Ireland, forming the backbone of our local economy.

“There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit in Newry and the British Business Bank is proud to be supporting the Chamber’s annual NI SME Business Conference & Expo.

“As the government’s economic development bank, the Bank is dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses.

“So whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, scale up in a sustainable way or take steps on your net-zero journey, we can support you and point you in the right direction.

“Events like this are so important for knowledge sharing and networking, so if you are attending and think we can help your business then we would really like to speak to you.”

Brendan Kearney, Chair of the FSB NI. (Photo by Jim Masson/Down News).

Brendan Kearney, Regional Chair of FSB in NI said: “The business community have shown remarkable resilience over the last three years.

“For many it was about survival. However, we are now looking to a better future.

“The FSB are here to help and this conference is a fantastic way to come together and discuss how we can work together to create a better economy for all.

“In Northern Ireland, we know that the economy is driven by small and medium enterprises. So please get involved and see what help is available.”

Tracy Rice, Head of Business Engagement at SRC commented: “SRC are delighted to be sponsoring this important conference and work with Newry Chamber and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to support local businesses.

“We are thrilled to see small businesses in the Greater Newry Area taking such a proactive approach.”

“We work with many local firms and feedback from employers is that initiatives like higher level apprenticeships and upskilling current workforce is making a positive difference to their bottom lines.”