Opportunity Knocks?

This week I went along to the Somerset in Business Conference at Haynes Motor Museum in Sparkford.

The title of the conference was ‘2010 – The Decade of Opportunity’ and much of the first half was dedicated to large inward investment planned in Somerset – noteably Hinkley Point; Building Schools for the Future (in Bridgwater and Taunton); Taunton’s Firepool development; and plans for the Royal Bath and West Showground. Clearly the opportunities here were for larger construction companies and not the vast majority of businesses in Somerset who are small.

The second half of the conference was given over to 4 business people who had moved their business into Somerset and were keen to encourage others to do the same. Whilst these talks were interesting, and we would all benefit from more business opportunities in Somerset, I couldn’t help but wonder if I wanted the county to be swamped with people wanting to escape the South East. Surely the benefits the speakers mentioned – little traffic conjestion, for example – would dwindle if lots more business people needed to use the road network!

Unfortunately, the conference was largely focused on Taunton and the west of the county. There was no discussion on opportunities for small business spread across the county, or the role Bristol and Bath play in Somerset business life. Although they are not in the county they play a vital role in providing quality networking for many Somerset businesses.

Somerset is a rural economy, which is why many of us chose to live here, and it provide challenges and opportunities because of this.

For me, the biggest opportunity the conference offered came from catching up with good business contacts who were delegates!

Fiona 🙂

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