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Council celebrates successful York Business Festival

York Business Festival 2022 concluded on 30 November, marking the end of a successful month of activities supporting businesses in the city.

Rather than being focused on a single week, for the first time in over a decade, the business festival took place during the whole of November.

This year’s programme, developed around City of York Council’s objective of ‘Growing the Economy for Today and Tomorrow’, featured a total of 30 free events, both in-person and virtual.

The festival kicked off by focusing on building an economy driven by good business as part of a launch event at the Guildhall. The four weeks of the festival featured themes of good business and ethical, inclusive growth, sustainable growth, carbon reduction, workforce development and the city’s global links.

Councillor Ashley Mason, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the festival, whether as an organiser, speaker, venue provider or attendee. The festival has showcased the very best of York’s business community, helped develop ideas and links and inspire local businesses. It’s been truly inspiring to meet local entrepreneurs, whose innovation and ambition are building a bright future for the city.

“There are a wide range of organisations supporting York’s businesses, especially at this challenging time. We’re encouraging anyone who took part in this year’s festival to complete our feedback survey and help to shape the future of the festival.”

Ian Garner, Vice-Chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) North Yorkshire Branch, said:

“We were delighted to hold events at the Guildhall and at York St. John University as part of York Business Festival. One of the festival’s themes, ‘An economy driven by good business’ was a perfect fit with the IoD’s purpose, which is: ‘Better directors make a better world’.”

Anna Hastie, Head of Corporate Training at the University of York, said:

“The University was delighted to support the 2022 York Business Festival, and in particular to host the ‘Building a Resilient and Agile Workforce’ event. The event was a great success, with providers and businesses joining forces to deliver an exciting programme focused on ensuring the skills are in place both now and in the future to support businesses in the city to thrive and grow.”

Each week of the programme was structured around one of the five themes of York’s 10-year Economic Strategy, which was formally approved by the council’s Executive on 22 November 2022. The strategy includes a set of key agendas aimed at improving living standards and livelihoods for all of York’s residents and businesses through increasing productivity, raising earnings, and maintaining and developing the city’s skills advantage.

During the festival, the spotlight was on York as a global city, celebrating the city’s strengths as a centre for inward investment and highlighting opportunities for businesses to attract customers from overseas.

Business leaders from across York’s food and drink sector heard from the Department for International Trade (DIT) about ways to break into international markets before a reception in the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall brought this year’s festival to a close on Wednesday 30 November.

Stay updated with upcoming events and other business news by registering for the council’s weekly business bulletin.

To find out more about the practical support the council can provide for businesses, the Economic Growth team can be contacted at

The feedback survey runs until 5pm on 16 December. To complete the survey, click here.