Facebook - Shropshire Business Twitter - Shropshire Business LinkedIn - Shropshire Business
http://www.mcconnel.com http://www.terry-jones.co.uk

A year of challenges and opportunities

BY RICHARD SHEEHAN

It is likely that much of the business landscape for 2018 will be a mirror image of 2017.

With the ongoing sparring between the UK and the EU set to run and run, we can expect continued uncertainty which will directly impact on business confidence, investment decisions and economic growth.

However, we must say that we have witnessed on many occasions the amazing resilience and ‘roll your sleeves up’ mentality of our business community, as they make the most of what is available, it’s just what business people do.

As we have passed through 2017 we have been delighted to see and provide support for the significant amount of Shropshire goods and services being exported around the world. Many have gone to new markets outside the EU with the Middle East and Americas high on the activity lists.

It is widely expected that business will come under increasing cost pressures through 2018 with the pound still weak against the Dollar and Euro. Raw material costs are high on the list of concerns for our businesses; as an example, paper costs have increased by 30% in the last 12 months, impacting on profitability and leading to price increases.

With unemployment levels low and ongoing uncertainty for EU nationals impacting on recruitment of skilled labour, it is highly likely that we will experience pressures on wage demands, further compounded by potential staff churn, all leading to higher business costs and impacting on inflation

We can expect our 2018 journey to deliver continued challenges around productivity. Government must do more to incentivise the use and development of technology to combat the expected deferred business investment fuelled by uncertainty.

As the county’s chamber, we are well aware of the need for connectivity and collaboration. We will continue to be the catalyst that brings our businesses together as they seek out new opportunities and relationships.

We have expanded our focus to sector specific events with our Manufacturing and Professionals Partnerships going from strength to strength. 2018 will see us launch a number of technology-based projects that will enhance our offering and create economic wealth.

Our policy work has never been more important, with our Quarterly Economic Survey feeding into Westminster making sure the voice of Shropshire business is heard, helping to shape Government policy of the future. We are committed to expanding our work on behalf of our business community, making sure we are representing business in the areas that really matter.

Brexit - whatever the outcome of our negotiations - will significantly shape our economy for the foreseeable future, and the 52 accredited Chambers of Commerce are ready, willing and able to ensure Government doesn’t lose sight of the unintended consequences on business that the wrong type of agreement can have. Accountability is key in this.

We are committed to supporting the work of the Marches LEP and other contributors to our economy. Working in collaboration for the good of Shropshire and our economy, we will make sure that we profile opportunities for support to our wider business community, making sure if its available and if you need it you know about it.

Wishing the Shropshire Business Community every success in 2018 and assuring you that your Chamber is here to help.

http://www.fsb.org.uk/fsbconnect

Companies forge links with neighbours

Chamber initiative praised by businesses

21st March 2018

Snap election = more uncertainty for business

Businesses respond to Theresa May's surprise announcement

18th April 2017

It's deadline day for entering the county's business awards

Last chance to get your entries submitted

20th April 2018

Salop Leisure to host awards launch

Countdown to the summer's Shropshire Business Awards starts this month

3rd January 2018

2017 Shropshire Business Awards: tonight's the night!

Who's in the running for this year's 'Oscars'?

16th May 2017

The Brexit effect

Business leaders and their thoughts on Brexit

17th October 2016

Bring a Banner networking event held

Chamber initiative pulls in businesses

3rd April 2018

Tapas evening for women's network

Wrekin College hosts Chamber event

15th September 2017

Deadline for awards approaches

Entries for Telford50 accolade accepted before May 11

3rd May 2018

Ishbel celebrates first year in style

HR specialist shortlisted for best new small business at awards

15th May 2018

Good attendance at Business Expo

Shropshire Chamber plays host to networking event

18th November 2016

New chair appointed at business group

Sandy to head up Chamber's Oswestry breakfast meetings

14th February 2018

Engineering excellence showcased at meeting

Manufacturers visit Jaguar Land Rover

29th May 2018

Stateside trip for Teresa

US invitation for Telford social media expert

10th October 2017

Poundland tycoon to be guest at county 'Oscars'

Steven Smith speaker at Shropshire Business Awards

12th April 2017