Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) to celebrate 30th anniversary with Halloween Monster Bash

Members and supporters of the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) getting in the mo

Members and supporters of the Ipswich & Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) getting in the mood for the Halloween Monster Bash, being held to mark the organisation's 30th anniversary later this month. - Credit: Archant

The Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) is to celebrate its 30th anniversary in spirited fashion later this month with a Halloween-themed event.

ISSBA is staging the celebration in partnership with the Atrium Studios creative industries hub in Ipswich, with which it is working this year to help small start-up businesses to flourish and grow.

The event is being held at St Peter’s by the Waterfront in Ipswich on Friday, October 21, and is being organised by Beer and Co, a start-up company based at Atrium Studios on the University of Suffolk campus.

From small beginnings in 1986 ISSBA has developed into a hugely successful networking organisation for small firms, with its events including the Anglia Business Exhibition which, having started as the ISSBA Trade Fair in 1996, celebrated its own 20th anniversary earlier this year.

The initial moving force behind ISSBA was David Hennel, executive director of the Ipswich Enterprise Agency (IPSENTA) who launched the concept of a membership organisation for small businesses at a public meeting in Ipswich in April 1986.

IPSENTA organised the first few meetings of the new organisation which quickly built up a membership of more than 30 and officially became an independent body on October 28 that year.

Chris Marsh, chairman of ISSBA, said: “We are immensely proud of ISSBA; to reach this milestone is amazing. We are delighted to be supporting the Atrium Studios this year and really looking forward to working with them on our event in October and fundraising to help the aspirations of future businesses.

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“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our membership and supporters and the committee who work tirelessly during the year to promote ISSBA and to make it the success that it is today.”

Prof Simon Hallsworth, pro vice-chancellor at the univesity’s Faculty of Art, Business and Applied Social Science, added: “It is a privilege for the new University of Suffolk to work with ISSBA; as a community impact university we will continue to support the business community in any way we can.”

Beer and Co which is organising the 30th anniversary event – styled the Halloween Monster Bash - specialises in artisan food and drink experiences.

Company director Greg Cooper said: “We are delighted to be assisting ISSBA with their 30th anniversary as well as raising money to help other start up businesses grow.”

He added: “St Peter’s By The Waterfront will provide an exhilarating environment for this ‘spooky experience’, with a choice of local seasonal cask ales, ciders, wines and bottled beers available to suit all palates. Fellow ISSBA members Presitige Bars will provide BBQ and fresh paella, while brilliant local band J S & the Lockerbillies will be providing the live entertainment, and are guaranteed to get all grizzly ghouls rock’n’rolling!”

Tickets for the ISSBA 30th anniversary and fundraiser event, which will run from 7pm until 11pm on Friday, October 21, can be purchased online from either www.issba.co.uk (ISSBA members) or www.beerandco.uk (non members and the general public).