COMPANIES in Cambridgeshire are preparing for economic recovery by taking advantage of free Government-sponsored business briefings. A record number of advanced bookings have been received for the events in the new Free Business Briefings programme from Business Link East, events manager Mandy Candish, pictured, said. "We have received more than 1,600 bookings for the briefings already, showing that business owners and managers really appreciate the opportunity to develop their own and their employees' skills without taking too much time out of the workplace. "The fact that all the briefings are now free makes them even more attractive than before." She added: "Businesses and entrepreneurs in Cambridgeshire are facing challenging conditions, but there has never been a better time to tackle issues and take advantage of opportunities to survive the economic downturn and emerge stronger. "The business briefings help business people gain a competitive edge and keep their knowledge fresh and up-to-date. Most last for just two hours, giving delegates all the essential information they need in one fact-packed session." Briefings are being run in Cambridge, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Ely and Wisbech from May to September. They cover: sales and marketing; developing people; IT and e-commerce; developing your business assets; public sector tendering; finance; environmental awareness; and legislation. The presenters are experts in their field and, because they have run their own businesses, they understand the issues that businesses face on a day-to-day level, Business Link said. The briefings are aimed at business owners, directors, sales and marketing staff, HR managers, line managers and team leaders from all types of small and medium sized businesses. INFORMATION: To book events visit www.bookevents.org or telephone the events booking line on 0845 601 1000.