Chair’s Report

It’s very encouraging to see the buoyant attendance of Members at the various events held recently. We’re seeing a real desire for Members and visitors to meet face-to-face and get back to networking and interacting together.

Much has been said about the Chamber Expo at the Three Counties Showground in March. It was a delight to be able to sell a record number of stands and welcome around 800 visitors on the day – creating a real ‘buzz’ in the rooms. I’m looking forward to visiting the next Expo on October 13th – please contact the Events team if you would like to book a stand.

The latest joint area council was held at Malvern Hills Science Park and 16 businesses were represented from across the two counties. From a Worcestershire perspective, we were updated about the ongoing investment in the University’s new medical school and teaching facility, plus new inclusive cricket centre in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board – further high profile developments within the city area.

Wider county investment was highlighted separately at the Economic Conference, hosted by Mazak. The message from all the business sector updates was very encouraging, on one hand, with high levels of activity and strong order books being reported. On the other hand, costs and recruitment remain a real challenge in all sectors. Inflation in all inputs continues to rise and I feel there is more to come. I was advised that two medium sized companies will see their electricity costs rise by 60% and this is case across the board. This is a significant challenge to us all and I hope our Members are able to work with these increases.

If you’re yet to investigate the BEEP (Business Energy Efficiency Programme) I would advise booking a visit by an advisor. Grants of up to 40% for energy efficiency improvement investments could be applicable for your business. Visit the Chamber website for details.

Until next time, Mike.