The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has launched a major campaign to ensure the region hits its economic growth potential in 2016 – and beyond.
The Chamber recently revealed that companies in the region were at their most confident in quarter four of 2015 than they had been at the turn of any other year for the past decade, according to its Quarterly Economic Survey (QES).
But, despite that buoyant mood, the Chamber says there are obstacles in the way of growth in Coventry and Warwickshire and that its ‘Go For Growth 16’ campaign will raise the profile of those issues and look to address them.
Chief executive Louise Bennett said: “The indicators at the end of 2015 were positive. The QES threw out very confident predictions from businesses, and unemployment continued to fall across Coventry and Warwickshire.
“So there are plenty of reasons to look forward to 2016 with great optimism that this can be the best year for business across the region since the recession.
“But while we see the opportunities on offer in the forthcoming year, we also see the barriers to the city and the county fulfilling their potential.
“The idea of the campaign is to raise the profile of those businesses who are achieving success but also to shine a light on those matters that could stunt our growth.”
The Chamber has split those barriers into six categories and will be engaging with local authorities, MPs, ministers, business groups and other key bodies to help tackle them.
The Chamber is highlighting skills, infrastructure, property & land, identity, international trade and finance as the six key areas to be addressed throughout the year.
Louise added: “If you look at a business that is in a position to grow, it needs new staff, it may need new premises, it may need finance and it might need to expand into new markets.
“As a region, we have to be geared up for that – so is there the supply of skilled people? Is there the land to allow our businesses to expand and to attract new ones to the area? Is the finance available and through which channels?
“Some issues are going to be very local – some even unique to each our five branch areas of Coventry, Rugby, mid-Warwickshire, south Warwickshire and north Warwickshire.
“Others, however, will be on a much bigger scale such as the whole issue around EU membership and how that affects our members.
“It is fantastic to be going into 2016 with such optimism from business and, as a Chamber, we want to help ensure that those aspirations can be realised and not blocked by some of those issues we’ve highlighted. We can’t leave it to chance that it will happen, we have to make a concerted effort to Go For Growth.”