Uncertain times for businesses in Warwickshire

Karen Shuter.
Karen Shuter.

Here’s the latest column from Karen Shuter, chair of the Rugby branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Summer holiday season is just about to kick in and no doubt many of you reading this will be preparing for your break. I think you’ve earned one!

It’s been such an uncertain period for everyone in business and, according to the results of our latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), it is starting to have an effect on confidence among companies across our area.

Confidence in both the manufacturing and service sectors dropped compared to the previous quarter meaning the overall business outlook for the region fell.

That said, according to Warwickshire County Council’s analysis of the figures, we are still way ahead of the national average and the fall has come compared to very strong survey results previously.

So, despite the drop, Coventry and Warwickshire is still considered to be a very buoyant economy and a very good place to do business.

However, we don’t rest on our laurels and it’s important that businesses quickly get back to a position where they are confident about investing in their plans for growth.

So how will that happen?

We will have a new Prime Minister very soon and we have a date for Brexit set at the end of October.

As a Chamber, we will be calling for our new PM to ensure that he avoids a messy, disorderly Brexit and provides the clarity we all need about our future relationship with the EU.

Your Chamber has done incredible work over the past few years in keeping companies up to date with the latest developments and in helping firms to prepare, where possible, for the various outcomes.

That has been done through a series of events, while a Brexit health-check toolkit has been made available to help businesses further understand what they can do to prepare in advance. It can be found at www.wmca.org.uk/brexithealthcheck

Away from Brexit, the Chamber continues to provide support right across the board – from assisting start-up businesses in getting themselves off the ground through to helping companies to trade globally.

We’ve also got a fantastic annual conference to look forward to on November 15 when Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be our keynote speaker and will no doubt offer us inspiration to take into our businesses.

It’s an event that always attracts business and civic leaders from across the region so I look forward to seeing you there. For more information, call 024 7665 321.