When Frank McKenna first launched Downtown Liverpool in Business he recognised the power of bringing people together to make connections and influence opinion. The need for physical connection has become ever greater over the past 10 years as social media enables us to so readily meet online, yet we still retain a deep desire for that face to face contact to know that there is someone with whom you want to do business with.
What’s also developed over the past decade is the Downtown network. Frank, a believer himself in doing business with those you know and trust, has partnered with the inimitable Michael Taylor in Manchester and others in Leeds and Lancashire to extend business connections across regional borders. In so doing, the Downtown network has likely contributed millions to the economy through new companies formed and existing businesses growing on the back of meeting suppliers/partners/employees at events, as well as being inspired by top class speakers that the Downtown team continue to attract.
What’s also to respect is the voice Frank and Downtown has given to the entrepreneurial community of the north. Where the big companies have organisations such as CBI and North West Business Leadership Team (doing a fine job under the leadership of Geoffrey Piper), small businesses need a voice too; a voice to government, policy makers, to media and the financial sector.
This, amongst many other things, is what the Downtown network offers. May it grow and prosper for many decades to come.