THE first ever Sutherland Business Breakfast took place at the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre today.
The event, organised and hosted by Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust experience manager for Falls of Shin, Dale Pryde-MacDonald, was a success and connected a range of local businesses across the Highlands and helped them with the perfect networking, advice and guidance opportunities.
More than 25 businesses attended the event, which is now hoped to be a regular fixture in the calendar. Amongst those in attendance were businesses such as MacKay & Co chartered accountants of Golspie, CH Architecture of Bonar Bridge, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and many more. Guest speakers on the day were Liam Christie (president, Inverness Chamber of Commerce), Trudy Morris (chief executive, Caithness Chamber of Commerce) and Cecilia Grigor (director, Planit Scotland).
Each of the three speakers took time to present to the audience before partaking in a panel session answering questions from attendees. The morning captured the essence of some of the key issues the area faces – business development, youth employment, sustainable communities and support for local businesses and allowed the speakers to present methods of facing those challenges.
On the success of the event, KoS Development Trust's Dale Pryde-MacDonald was amazed by the turnout. He said: "I had been monitoring the bookings for the past couple of weeks and I wasn't just amazed by the numbers but by the quality of businesses and decision makers we had in the room.
"There has long been a need for this kind of event in my eyes, and there cannot be a more fitting venue than Falls of Shin to host it. We must give everybody thanks for making this event such a success – the attendee's, Graham and his catering team, who were immense, the speakers for taking the time out to come along and advise and to the trust for really backing me in this event.
"If we can help just one business with one issue today as far as I'm concerned our job is done. We hopefully provided a platform for businesses to really find the help they need or the contacts they need to thrive and give them the best opportunity to develop."
Helen Houston, development officer at Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust said: "It was an honour for the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust to host the first Sutherland Business Networking Breakfast. That so many businesses from Inverness, Caithness and Sutherland came along to the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre demonstrates the importance businesses place on networking opportunities."