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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / January 2017 (1) / MIKE ASHTON - BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NEW YEAR

Date: 13/01/2017

January has arrived and I would like to wish a happy and prosperous New Year to the business community. Last quarter we began to see some of the uncertainty around Brexit affecting local businesses, but despite recent headwinds, there are many opportunities for businesses to look forward to in 2017.

Firstly, I am delighted to announce Sharon Smith as the new Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Sharon was selected for the role following a rigorous interview process and I look forward to how she will continue to strengthen the Chamber’s partnership with local businesses.
The date is now approaching for the Chamber’s biggest event of the year; the Business Expo, taking place on Thursday 2 March at the Three Counties Showground. We are delighted to welcome Lord Digby Jones as the keynote speaker on “The Regional Economy in a post-Brexit world”, and look forward to hosting Google, who will deliver a free seminar on “Micro Moments – the future of online marketing”. I encourage you to both attend and to exhibit at the Expo - visit the website for information and to book your stand.
The Chamber are committed to championing local business issues. Consequently, at the end of the month we are launching our Business Manifesto, which contains all our priorities for local and national government. We have put this together following consultation with local business and through the results from the most recent Quarterly Economic Survey. If you would like to attend the launch on Friday 3 February at 8.00am at Worcester, Bosch, contact Sophia Haywood at
Another event for the calendar is the new Sustainability Forum, taking place on Thursday 9 February from 8.30-10.30am at Thorlux Lighting, Redditch. The quarterly forum is part of the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and is a good opportunity for businesses to network and find out about the benefits of energy efficiency. For more information call 01905 677 888 or email

Finally, we have now launched the Chamber Business Awards for 2017. This event is the highlight of the business calendar and entering the Awards is a brilliant opportunity to raise your profile, celebrate success and to be recognised locally, regionally and even nationally. With 11 categoroes, there is something suitable for every business - visit to find out more and enter.


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Mike Ashton

Chief Executive

Mike began his career in his native North-West, where he was Head of Enterprise at Liverpool John Moores University from 1994-2001. The extensive business engagement experience he gained in that role was enough to earn him the Chief Executive’s position at Greater Manchester BusinessLink (Chamberlink), a company that offered business support across the 10 council authorities that form the Greater Manchester umbrella. In May 2007 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. 

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