Guest blog: A rich business tapestry

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It never ceases to amaze me, writes Graham Buckley,  just how diverse and full of entrepreneurial spirit Cornwall’s business community is – even in these on-going times of recession.

Graham Buckley
Graham Buckley

Spend just a short amount of time talking with business owners across Cornwall and what shines through is the amount of diversity, talent, passion, enthusiasm, creativity and determination they have.

And it’s interesting to note that more businesses are using Cornwall with all its positive associations and perceptions as a key strength across their marketing and sales messages as well as their product and service offering.

In many cases they are using the county’s natural and lifestyle strengths to engage with customers and do business with them. For other business owners, Cornwall is simply a great place to live and work.

Clearly technology is emphatically shaping our business demography here in Cornwall, making it a much more diverse and interesting community – with the added benefit that for businesses such as ours – we also get to support an increasingly diverse and interesting set of clients.

Through the internet, businesses in Cornwall are able to establish, grow and sell their products and services to national and international audiences. The old issue of Cornwall’s location creating a ‘friction of distance’ – a significant barrier to business growth – is fast diminishing. But to keep that forward momentum, it’s essential that the right type of support is available for businesses here in Cornwall to enable them to reach their full potential.

The seemingly shrinking world in which we live has given rise to those with entrepreneurial spirit having increased confidence to make Cornwall the location in which to start and run or indeed relocate their business.

In the last two weeks, I’ve chatted to everyone from wet suit designers and clothes makers, to beer producers, jewellery designers, and training companies through to financial planners, energy efficiency firms, writers and skincare producers – and that’s just scratching the surface and not counting those purely in traditional tourism sectors.

There is a younger, hungrier generation of business owners out there who love living in Cornwall and doing business here and from here.

Businesses are relocating to the county because they no longer need to be physically based in major urban centres. I was in Penzance having a meeting in the newly-opened Work Box – a space more akin to West London than West Cornwall. On the floor below was an internationally award-winning foreign exchange business transacting hundreds of millions of pounds in currencies annually whilst above us was a multi-million pound recruitment firm with offices in London, Stockholm, New York and Penzance!

The Work Box itself was created to accommodate the growing number of small businesses that need modern state of the art facilities. One building in West Cornwall offering just a small snap shot of the increasingly diverse face of the county’s business community.

Long may it continue.

About the Author

Graham Buckley is head of marketing at business growth accountant Gain, an award-winning PR practitioner and marketer and NCTJ qualified journalist.