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Highland creatives offered a week of workshops to help the, through the coronavirus crisis

By Calum MacLeod

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A special week of workshops, advice and discussions is being launched by creative industries support organisation XpoNorth to help north businesses and artists through the coronavirus crisis.

Xponorth's first Fearless Business Week will deliver a full range of practical business support workshops to address questions surrounding the creative industry, which is among those most badly hit by the impact of the pandemic and anti-transmission measures.

It will offer a four-day free-to-attend workshop programme providing advice, guidance and signpostingwhat Highland and Islands businesses can do during these difficult times.

Among those taking part will be specialists in entertainment insurance and commercial banking.

It is estimated that the creative sector is worth around £740 million to the region and accounts for more than 5000 jobs across a diverse mix of small and medium sized businesses, sole traders, freelancers and organisations.

Many of these sit outside more traditional business models, meaning obtaining the right advice for their business can be hard to find.

The free event will take place from October Monday 26 to Friday 29, and featuress a range of practical business support sessions alongside interviews from some of the region’s best known creative businesses figures.

The full programme is still to be announced but will include sessions on insuring creativity, banking and the creative industries, and funding options, as well as an interview with Robert Davidson, founder of award-winning Highland-based publisher Sandstone Press, about his own business journey.

Iain Hamilton, head of creative industries at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which funds XpoNorth, said: “Research from Oxford Economics estimates that the creative sector could be hit twice as hard as the wider economy in 2020 and with further restrictions being placed, we must find new ways to rise to the challenge and support the creative industries.

"Our ongoing series of workshops have been well received from the community as we continue to work alongside the creative industries on how we can appropriately plan for the future and safeguard jobs. FearlessBusiness Week aims to give never-heard-before insight on the practicalities facing businesses in this pandemic, providing them with clear resources and answers to questions they’ve perhaps not been able to get elsewhere.”

For more information on 'Fearless Business Week’ and to register to attend, visit www.xponorth.co.uk

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