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Companies forge links with neighbours

Shropshire business leaders have praised a Shropshire Chamber of Commerce initiative for companies to get to know their neighbouring businesses.

SP Services, a UK and worldwide medical supplies firm, hosted the innovative Meet Your Business Neighbours event at its Hortonwood HQ which attracted more than 40 firms – a record attendance.

As a result of last Thursday’s late afternoon invitation, SP Services is setting up a Facebook page for local Hortonwood businesses so they can trade together, alert each other about road closures or events and talk about how to tackle crime on the estate.

Company MDs met accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses from across the region to make new friends and build business partnerships at the event. 

MD Paul Inions, of McPhillips civil engineers, said: It’s a very good idea to know your neighbours. We are only across the road and we get all our medical supplies from SP Services.”

Accountant Christian Williams, of Integrity Services, of Hadley Park, Telford, said: “It’s important for firms to integrate and form partnerships. This is a great idea.”

Lee Roberts, of vehicle hire firm SSH Selfdrive, said: “This is a much better idea than our regular networking events. We are all neighbours and it’s good to converse like this. We’ve all got something in common.”

SP Services MD Steve Bray told the business audience that when he drives through business estates he wonders what products are being made under “all the tin sheds.”

“There is a lot here and we all have a lot to share. We always try to buy locally. I believe it’s very important to support the local economy and local jobs. We bought all our warehouse racking from three miles down the road and all our visual equipment came from a company just a few doors away. It’s important to buy from your neighbours.”

Chamber Chief Executive Richard Sheehan said: “There are people who work in offices and under very big sheds very close by and have no idea what services everyone does.

‘We need to keep the £ rotating in Shropshire. People still think they have to buy goods and services from Birmingham or Manchester. They are not better, they are more expensive.”

More similar Meet the Neighbours events are due to be held across the county in 2018 by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.

Picture: Shropshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Richard Sheehan with Jane Wilson, operations ,anager at SP Services with SP Services MD Steve Bray - and their neighbours.

http://www.fsb.org.uk/fsbconnect

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