BUSINESSPEOPLE from Coventry and Warwickshire have called on a Government minister and other local leaders to help them fix the issues that are holding back economic growth.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce brought businesses together from across its five branches of North Warwickshire, Rugby, Coventry, Mid-Warwickshire and South Warwickshire at an event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford.
They were joined by Stratford MP and Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, local council leaders, and representatives from the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Skills, training and recruitment concerns were all highlighted – but the cost of doing business was also raised as an immediate and major concern, particularly with rising fuel and energy costs.
Sean Rose, the Chamber’s Head of Policy, said: “There is no doubt that, with costs rising both for businesses and individuals, firms are facing massive challenges and this was an opportunity to raise that with decision-makers in the room.
“It is why we are now calling, through colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce, for an emergency budget to support firms through the current cost-of-doing-business crisis.
“Our branch network means we are able to hone in on very localised issues for our members and, also, understand the bigger picture for the wider economy.”
Karen Shuter, the Chamber’s Rugby branch chair, said: “Our branches are a vital voice for local businesses and, by speaking collectively, it adds weight to that voice and means we can get things done.”
Larry Coltman, the Chamber’s South Warwickshire branch chair, said: “I’ve been involved with the Chamber for many years now and events such as this show how we can pull businesses and decision-makers together to make sure the issues we are facing are understood at a local, regional and national level.”
Peter Burns MBE, the Chamber’s Mid-Warwickshire branch interim chair, added: “Business needs a voice and it is great that we can bring local companies together with Government ministers with the aim of improving conditions for all of our members to be able to grow.”