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making connections and being able to share information was the aim of Locals Supporting Locals, a new event that took place recently at The Gate, in Cromwell.

Organiser Russ Fowler said about two dozen people participated in the event.
Business professionals gave a short introductory talk, then gathered around cafe tables where participants could speak one-on-one with experts from a range of business activities including tax, law, accounting, economic development and business strategy.

Jenny Grimmett, of Alexandra, runs her own resource management and planning consultancy and said she came to the event to network.
Her business was doing well, but she had recently moved to live in the region after many years of coming for holidays and part of her goal was to see if she could make connections so she could help give back to the community.

Lana Van Lierop, of Cromwell, came to the event as she runs a series of wellbeing workshops to help businesses manage stress for themselves and their employees.
‘‘It is a recent business that I have started.’’

Bob Knox, of Cromwell, said he came to the event because he thought it was great to interact with people and gain a new perspective.

Mr Fowler said the most critical part of the day was a social networking hour at the end of the event where people could continue to make connections that could help them at a later stage.
He thought people sometimes might be quite ‘‘closed’’ about their own business.
‘‘They just need the opportunity to know that they are not alone and that they can find some support, whatever it may be that they need.’’