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A year of challenges and opportunities


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.


Companies forge links with neighbours

Chamber initiative praised by businesses

21st March 2018

Shropshire Business Awards relaunched

Entries now open for Chamber's showpiece

2nd October 2020

Finalists are revealed for 2020 county business awards

10 titles are up for grabs

7th November 2020

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

Last chance to get your entries submitted

20th April 2018

Chamber Champion awards are a big success

Live stream celebrates the Shropshire spirit

20th July 2020

And the 2019 Shropshire Company of the Year is ...

Shropshire Chamber Business Awards: Meet the winners - and listen to audio interviews

15th June 2019

2020 business awards delayed until November

Coronavirus forces postponement of showpiece event

13th March 2020

Do you deserve a Queen's Award for Enterprise?

Lunchtime fact-finding event on Friday

10th June 2020

Chamber welcomes skills for jobs campaign

White paper recognises crucial links between business and education

21st January 2021

Tougher times still to come for businesses

Analysis of support plans for 'economic emergency'

25th November 2020

£4.6bn lockdown support - reaction

It's only part of the solution, chamber says

4th January 2021

Salop Leisure to host awards launch

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

3rd January 2018

2020 award winners will be crowned on Friday

Book your FREE seat for the virtual awards

16th November 2020

Shropshire Business Podcast

Listen to the latest episode

2nd July 2019

Budget 2020 - positive response from Shropshire businesses

Comment and analysis on today's big announcements

11th March 2020