YORK'S economic and tourism recovery will be in the spotlight as the city's biggest business event is held virtually for the first time.

York Business Conference on Monday, November 9, will kick-start York Business Week 2020.

Now in its 10th year, the event is organised by Make It York, along with partners, 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.

Greg Dyke, chair of Make It York, will welcome the speakers to the conference which will focus on economic recovery, resilience and the EU Exit in the morning

A mini tourism conference in the afternoon will focus on the city’s tourism strategy and milestones.

“I am delighted to be part of York Business Week in its 10th anniversary year," he said. "The programme for the week is very topical for this year, with York’s vibrant business community coming together to deliver a variety of excellent events throughout the week."

Cllr Keith Aspden, York council leader, will share the challenges the city faces in economic recovery.

He said: “It is of course a significantly challenging period for city and our local business community, but there is also a considerable amount of work taking place to build back better form the pandemic.

"It is incredibly important that we can come together to share best practice and discuss how we can best drive recovery in the city.”

David Kerfoot, chairman of York & North Yorkshire LEP, will examine the approach to recovery support and looking to the future.

Beckie Hart, regional director for Yorkshire and Humber from Confederation of British Industry (CBI), will explore what happens now with recovery.

She said: “In the current environment, it is more important than ever for York business community to come together and look at the future of our local economy and how we can drive the recovery forward.”

Jon Geldart, director general of the Institute of Directors, will talk about what is needed to boost economic recovery and resilience.

The session will conclude with a panel discussion and  questions.

Session two will be opened by Andrew Digwood, president of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and partner at Rollits, with speakers tackling the topic of the looming EU Exit and what the impact will be for businesses in 2021 and beyond.

Allie Reninson, head of EU and trade policy for the Institute of Directors (IoD), will examine what is facing businesses, what they need to know and how they can prepare for life out of the EU.

As a major global business with roots in York, Matt Beddoe, head of procurement at Nestle, will share how they have prepared for the changes that may come.

Andrew Digwood said: “As the UK is set to leave the EU single market in January 2021, many businesses are getting ready for the changes to come in the very near future.

"Working and sharing information together is the best way to prepare for and manage the impact of the EU Exit on businesses in all sectors of York’s business community. It promises to be an insightful and useful session.”

The afternoon session will focus on the future of the tourism sector with industry experts and organisations from across the city giving their insights on tourism recovery.

Chaired by Cllr Darryl Smalley, the session will kick off with an update from Make It York on the tourism recovery marketing strategy and focus for activity in the run up to Christmas.

Keynote speaker Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO, will be joining the conference to deliver a session on ‘Coming out of the Crisis: What Now?’, with a focus on the future of tourism post covid-19.

Delegates will also hear from VisitBritain with an update on their current marketing campaign ‘Escape the Everyday’ and national tourism insights, and Welcome to Yorkshire with their 'A Yorkshire for All - a place to Visit, Live, Work & Study' 2021 strategy update.

Signe Jungersted, CEO of Group NAO said: "Tourism will return, but changed. Much like our destinations.

"We are not going back to normal, we are moving ahead to a new era – and the whole idea of building back better is about not awaiting what comes, but actively starting to shape and create it within our destinations.

"It’s tough, really tough. But there is no other way than through it, and so, the question is how and where we want to end up. I'm really looking forward to exploring these issues at York Business Week this year and discussing the future of the sector with businesses across York's tourism industry."

The tourism session will close with a panel discussion and Q&A with organisations and businesses across the city on plans for tourism recovery, including York BID, Hospitality Association York, English Heritage, City of York Council, and Make It York.

The York Business Conference programme will also offer the first virtual networking opportunity of the week giving businesses the opportunity to connect with new and existing contacts across the city in an informal discussion-led early evening session.

All events within York Business Week, including the conference, will be free of charge.

The week-long event, including topical seminars, workshop sessions and online networking opportunities will something for businesses of all sizes.

York Business Week 2020 is sponsored by 11 principal partners: Ad:venture; Autohorn; BHP; York and North Yorkshire LEP; Garbutt + Elliott; Hentons; Langleys, University of York; York City Knights; York Data Services; and PIB Insurance Brokers.

The conference takes place from 9am to 5pm on Monday, November 9.

To book tickets and for the full programme visit www.yorkbusinessweek.co.uk. Follow #YorkBizWeek20 on @makeityork Twitter.