York Business Week is making a virtual return to mark its 10th anniversary with the theme of 'build back better'.

The event which runs from November 9 to 13 will be staged online and will be free of charge in a bid to involve as many businesses as possible.

As York's business community looks ahead to recovery post Covid-19, the week-long programme will focus on economic recovery across key sectors.

Seminars, workshops, online networking opportunities and the city’s first virtual York Business Conference will offer something for all York businesses from sole traders to global businesses.

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Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York, the key organiser, said: "Many businesses have faced overwhelming challenges in recent months, across all aspects of their operations.

"It is important now, in this time of economic recovery, that we look forward as a city, showcase our collective strengths and be ambitious about how we drive growth for the future.

"Transformational capital schemes like York Central and the Castle Gateway Redevelopment are uniquely placed to give York huge opportunities for medium term economic recovery.

"York has proven in history that it has the ability to reinvent itself and now in 2020, alongside the city’s wealth of business expertise across multiple sectors, we are well placed to reposition York as a business destination of the future.

"York Business Week is an important annual event in the city’s business calendar which reminds us of our city’s strengths and supports our businesses to build back better."

The programme begins with the York Business Conference on Monday, November 9, with speakers sharing insights and how we can maximise York’s sector strengths in this period of revival.

The line-up includes David Kerfoot, Chair of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Andrew Digwood, president of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and partner at Rollits LLP.

The focus for this year’s conference will be on recovery planning – looking at the challenges businesses face, how far we’ve come and the work still to be done to ensure the region successfully recovers - including how the EU exit will impact on this.

The conference will also offer the first virtual networking opportunity of the week with an informal discussion-led lunchtime session.

So what can delegates expect?

On Monday afternoon a mini tourism conference will be held virtually to get an update on the city’s tourism strategy. Industry experts from will deliver short sessions focused on tourism recovery, along with Make It York and City of York Council.

Tuesday will offer seminar sessions and workshops focused on skills, start-ups and sales.

Skills sessions will be delivered throughout the morning, with a workshop led by a York skills and education partnership.

Start-up seminars delivered by AD:VENTURE will focus on the Early Stage of developing your business, Investment and Growth.

‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ will tackle issues facing businesses of all sizes, in all sectors with topics focused on wellbeing and mental health in the workplace.

Development expert and coach, Michelle Mook will lead a session on working remotely and how to keep teams motivated.

Langleys Solicitors will be offering a guide to HR matters, including restructuring businesses, mental health during a pandemic and business immigration in light of the EU Exit.

Mark Willis from York Mind will be leading on a session called 'Looking after you: 10 keys to mental wellbeing' which will be an interactive session for individuals to help calm their minds in this Covid storm.

Thursday will focus on leadership and innovation with sessions throughout the day, including ‘Leadership in Lockdown’ with Michelle Mook, and an ‘Innovation in Action’ session led by Dr Jo North from The Big Bang Partnership.

BioVale and York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership are hosting a food waste innovation workshop on 12 November, as part of the wider Circular Yorkshire Month which runs throughout November.

There will also be a ‘Business Growth Hub Pop-up’ with short one to one sessions on topics ranging from finance and HR to social media and marketing.

The week will conclude on Friday with city focus sessions, including the York narrative project and how businesses can use it to tell their own story and promote themselves.

Sean Bullick, managing director at Make It York, said: "Supporting the city’s jobs and businesses is our number one priority.

"We're very optimistic about the real strengths of York’s key business sectors and very positive about the future.

"We're hosting York Business Week virtually this year and have an exciting programme, bringing together local, regional, national and international speakers and businesses to raise their profile and to discuss the current range of issues and challenges including post-COVID recovery, devolution, the opportunities of the knowledge economy, and the EU exit."

Executive member for Economy and Strategic planning, Cllr Andrew Waller, said: “This is an important time for the city’s businesses to come together and get the support and information they need to continue their recovery.

"The programme offers relevant, timely and responsive information for businesses from all sectors and to help the city with our goal of building back better.

"It is only by working in partnership across the whole city that we will ensure the future prosperity of York’s economy with a fairer, greener economy with more local options to build new careers.”

Tickets are available to book for York Business Week 2020 on yorkbusinessweek.com.

The event is organised by Make It York and hosted in conjunction with City of York Council, York & North Yorkshire LEP, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Federation of Small Businesses, York BID, the University of York, York St John University and the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.