The most politically charged Federation of Small Businesses conference yet saw three political big-hitters take to the stage in the shape of Chancellor George Osborne, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Milliband.
The conference, which took place at the ICC in Birmingham from March 19 to 21 and was hosted by the Staffordshire and West Midlands Region of the FSB, was hailed as the best yet.
Karen Woolley, development manager for the FSB in Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said: "I feel very pleased and proud and there was a unanimous consensus that it was a brilliant event.
"As far as the political speakers went we couldn't have asked for more."
Ms Woolley said the FSB and the 1,000-odd delegates at the ICC were impressed by the pledges made by the key representatives of all three parties.
She said: "For the first time in the FSB's 41-year history, we had senior politicians from the three main parties address our conference, spelling out what they would do to back small businesses if they were to form the next government.
"All three speakers were received well by our members as they recognised the contribution small businesses make to the UK economy. Our broken business rates system was a key theme across all three speeches.
"The Chancellor, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition all committed themselves to overhauling this deeply unfair tax on businesses in the next Parliament. It is something our members will be happy to see cross-party consensus on."
Ms Woolley said all the politicians also demonstrated sympathy over the issue of late payments.
The Chancellor talked about the Small Business Bill, which will include measures to tackle poor payment practices, while the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted small firms' late payment problems, acknowledging one late payment can "wreck a small business".
Ms Woolley said the FSB had been impressed by "strong words" from Mr Milliband on late payments.
She said: "On supply chain abuse, he described late payments as a national scandal. We were therefore pleased to see a potential future Labour government committing to taking further action to stop these practices, including supply chain bullying and 'pay to stay' charges, though further regulation if necessary."
The FSB event saw a local market, made up of local FSB members who were able to display and sell their wares.
It included a sweets and home-made fudge manufacturer, a bespoke jewellery-maker and an artist blacksmith. Running alongside it was a B2B exhibition which consisted of 70 stands.
Seminars were held on a variety of subjects including cyber security, Twitter and LinkedIn, exporting and international trade, apprenticeships and auto-enrolment.
Speakers included Py Gerbeau, Geoff Burch and Rachel Elneugh, with former athlete Kriss Akabusi (himself a small business owner) was the keynote motivational speaker.
Birmingham's diversity was also highlighted in 'A Cultural Taste of Birmingham', held in the Library of Birmingham, which saw street dance, Bollywood and Chinese dance showcased.
Ms Woolley said marketing Birmingham had estimated the event brought in £1.3 million for the local economy.