Leaders of the local economy were mixing business with bacon butties on Friday as they took part in the first Business Breakfast since the pandemic.
Local business people, East Hampshire District Council and Damian Hinds MP met at Old Thorns, in Liphook, for talks and tea.
The event was run by Business East Hants (BEH), a networking group for businesses of all sizes across the district.
As well as giving BEH members a chance to meet face-to-face for the first time since 2019 the event featured speakers, including Nigel Clarke, of Petersfield engineering company Morgan IAT, Ross Borman, Havant and East Hampshire MIND, Damian Hinds MP and Clare Chester, Director of Regeneration & Prosperity at EHDC.
Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of EHDC, chaired the event. He said: “Now, more than ever, businesses need to know that they are not alone - and that by working with other businesses locally they can forge relationships that will stand them, their employees and their clients in good stead for the future.
"A thriving local economy will be crucial to our recovery from the pain of the pandemic and will help local people cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
"Business East Hants is at the centre of our efforts to develop the district’s economic prospects and it was great to be able to get the group together once again for our latest breakfast meeting."
In all around 65 people took part in the event and heard Damian Hinds MP talk about the importance of trading locally, smartly and healthily.
Mr Hinds said: "In the pandemic, local firms showed remarkable determination and despite the current strong headwinds, I know businesses in East Hampshire remain determined to innovate.
"It's great to see the commitment of the council to help them grow and create jobs here, and there's a range of organisations who can provide advice and support."
Business East Hants runs support schemes for local businesses including help with mental health and wellbeing and with digital skills