A FREE drop-in session for businesses to get advice about beating the recession is being held at Slepe Hall, St Ives, next Wednesday (April 22). Pam Edey, spokesman for St Ives Town Centre Initiative, said: "In straightened times the independent shops and services in St Ives are better placed than most in our area to weather the storm. "With an above average footfall and retailers from outside the area still taking units in this delightful market town there are good reasons to be optimistic. "However, the St Ives Town Initiative is well aware that in order to maintain this trend our businesses need to take advantage of every opportunity to engage the help of government and district agencies to minimise their overheads in the short term and access funds that may be available to them for longer-term planning." At the event there will be advice from Huntingdonshire District Council (on rates and taxes), Business Link, NatWest, Barclays, Huntingdonshire Regional College, Ewing Financial Services from St Ives, JobCentre Plus, and new business start-up advice from MWES in Huntingdon. INFORMATION: The session runs from 11am to 4pm.