MORE than 50 businessmen and women turned up to find out what support is available to them at a Sodbury and Yate Business Association recruitment evening.

The event was held at Ridgewood Community Association last night (Monday, March 24) and was backed by South Gloucestershire Council.

It was led by Tracey Francksen and Linda Banister, joint chairmen of the association this year, and was attended by independent business owners, Chipping Sodbury mayor Cllr Wendy Whittle, branch manager of Chipping Sodbury’s Waitrose store Rich Clare and Yate’s Foodbank project manager Bob Vernon.

Tracey told the assembled crowd the association, which currently has 31 members, wants to increase membership to ensure its continued vibrancy.

“We are five years old and were set up as an alternative to a traditional chamber of commerce to help people who work from home,” she said. “Most of our members do not have retail frontages and can go all day without speaking to anyone so we offer lots of sharing, networking and ideas.

“We have done lots of positive work in the community from working on a town centre health check to holding an event for people looking to start their own business.”

She added:”Everybody likes a success story and we are one.

“But we need more members if we are to maintain our variety and keep going as a strong group.”

The association meets on the second Monday of every month. For further information visit