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Nominations urged for new small business award

SMALL business owners in Sunderland are being urged to nominate their business for a new award that includes £500 worth of digital marketing!

The first One Sunderland Business Award is open to any company in and around the city that is less than 24 months old.

Set up by start-up business organisation One Sunderland, the award – sponsored by NatWest – was launched to find the best new small business which can demonstrate growth.

As well as the award, the winning business will also pick up £500 of digital marketing from Sun 360 – the commercial arm of 103.4 SunFM – which will help the victorious company reach new customers.

Sun FM

One Sunderland joint founder Mike Dodds said: “We will choose the winning business of the One Sunderland Small Business Award before our Sunderland Small Business Expo on February 15 and the winner will be presented at a special ceremony during that day.

“We want to celebrate the start-up businesses in and around Sunderland and we are delighted that NatWest and Sun 360 are backing the award. It’s not just an accolade for the victorious business, but they will also be given superb advice about capitalising on digital marketing too.”

The award is open to any type of business as long as it is younger than 24 months. There will also be two runners up, who will win business stationery.

“The award ceremony will be part of the Sunderland Small Business Expo, where Google, Sun 360 and inspirational speakers such as Nikki Gott will be sharing advice during free seminars that will be taking place throughout the day,” added Mike

The Sunderland Small Business Expo, which is sponsored by FSB, takes place at Hope Street Business Exchange from 9am-4pm on February 15. To book places visit or  visit for details about the seminar and events.

Mike Dodds, Sue Stott and the One Sunderland team at Hope Street Exchange.

Tech giant Google is offering Sunderland’s small businesses a helping hand with digital marketing. Three free seminars have been arranged with the search engine’s Digital Garage team during a day-long expo that will help new and established firms understand how to boost and grow their business online next year.

If you live in or around Sunderland and you want to boost your career, or turbocharge your business, please join us at our Digital Garage and talk to our experts. Alice Mansergh

The Small Business Expo has been arranged by start-up business support organisation One Sunderland, which will be include a variety of workshops for young companies. One Sunderland’s Mike Dodds said: “I am delighted that the Digital Garage from Google is taking part in our expo.

“We set up One Sunderland specifically to help those about to start-up in business, those just starting and more established local companies, and securing The Digital Garage will help them grow and become confident in using digital skills.”

The Small Business Expo will be held on February 15 and organisers are expecting The Digital Garage to be a huge success.

“Although it’s a month away, we wanted to give people plenty of notice so they can book on to The Digital Garage sessions, because they will be extremely popular,” explained Mike.

Alice Mansergh, director of Google Marketing Solutions for UK and Ireland, said: “Google’s products and free digital training are a growth engine for people and businesses up and down the country.

“So if you live in or around Sunderland and you want to boost your career, or turbocharge your business, please join us at our Digital Garage and talk to our experts.

“We can help you connect to new customers, help boost your productivity or improve your employability no matter what field you work in.”

One Sunderland joint founder Sue Stott added that the Digital Garage was part of a day of inspiring workshops to help small businesses, who can also find out more about support in the city.

“We decided to launch One Sunderland because while there are lots of excellent business support services in the city, there isn’t one place for signposting what’s available,” she explained.

The Sunderland Small Business Expo, which is sponsored by FSB, takes place at the Hope Street Business Exchange from 9am-4pm on Thursday, February 15.

To book Digital Garage places visit

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BUSINESS owners in Sunderland are being urged to be part of a four-day celebration of small businesses later this month.

Sunderland City Council and a number of business organisations are joining together to shine the spotlight on small and micro businesses across the city.

The Small Matters events will encourage those who are about to start their own firms or are thinking about it, celebrate the diversity of businesses in the city and pass on advice and information to business owners.

MAKE it Sunderland, FSB, One Sunderland, North East Business and Innovation Centre and The Mussel Club are joining forces to offer a wide variety of events, which culminates with Small Business Saturday on December 1.

Coun Harry Trueman said: “Small and micro businesses make up the majority of companies and organisations across the city and are massively important to our local economy.

“By giving free advice and information to business owners or those thinking of starting one we hope it will encourage more businesses to be set up in Sunderland and, for those established organisations, to look to further growth and collaboration with other firms across the city.”

He added that as well as giving advice, it was the perfect time to celebrate the diversity of businesses across Sunderland.

The events start with Get Started at Washington Business Centre, which is being hosted by start-up networking company One Sunderland, on Wednesday, November 29.

Get Started will run from 10am to 2pm and includes keynote speakers Nickie Gott and Andy Stephenson as well as the launch of the One Sunderland Business Award.

One Sunderland’s Mike Dodds said: “There will also be networking and advice available to inspire anyone thinking of starting a business or is in the early stages and need help or information about specific issues. The One Sunderland Business Awards will also be launched to find the city’s best business.”

The following day, the North East Business and Innovation Centre and The Mussel Club team up with MAKE it Sunderland and FSB for CAKE it Sunderland, which is an afternoon celebration of the diversity of businesses and includes expert advice.

Arthur Hodgson, of The Mussel Club, said: “Our focus is on diversity, so we’re inviting people to enjoy tea and cake while experiencing live music. Musicians and entertainers are often overlooked as businesses and we want to put them in the spotlight as essential additions to the local economy.

“And we will also have experts on hand to give business advice to anyone who attends.”

The event starts at 2pm and runs to 4pm at the North East BIC on Thursday, November 30.

Sunderland Software City will host a Business Highlights and Gastro Delights event on Friday, December 1 with a social media and marketing clinic, a digital taster session and information about how Sunderland University’s Fablab can help local businesses.

As well as information about how businesses can improve growth through apprenticeships, Sunderland City College’s City Bistro students will be on hand to prepare tasters for anyone who attends the event from 11am to 2pm.

The four-day celebration of small and micro businesses ends on Saturday, December 2 with the city taking part in Small Business Saturday with a local food and craft market in Park Lane.

FSB Regional Chairman Ted Salmon said: “Sunderland is really embracing small businesses with these events, which are showing that there is a huge variety of innovative and exciting firms in the city. By championing them, I am sure it will show that the city is a place for businesses to do business and to grow and boost the local economy.”