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Chamber launches manifesto at Westminster

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce today officially published a new manifesto designed to drive business prosperity across all corners of the county.

The ‘Going For Growth’ document calls for action on 21 specific policy areas spanning training, recruitment, infrastructure, international trade, immigration, technology and sustainability.

The Chamber team travelled to Westminster for the official launch at the Houses of Parliament today, handing the first copies to Shropshire’s MPs.

Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s chief executive, said: “The past few years have seen some of the greatest levels of political and economic uncertainty.

“From the UK’s departure from the European Union to a global pandemic, these challenges have created unwavering levels of complexity, leaving very little space for other business-critical issues and achieving business growth.

“We want to focus on fixing these issues over the next two years, capitalising on the economic potential and going for growth.”

She added: The Chamber will launch specific campaigns and forums tasked with championing the calls to action within the manifesto, collating member feedback and providing opportunities for collaboration with key partners and decision makers.

“The manifesto will be presented to Government, the opposition parties, plus local, regional and national stakeholders as the undivided vision for how Shropshire’s potential can be unleashed.”

The manifesto calls for:

Ruth Ross said: “Our members recognise how much more Shropshire could achieve if the barriers to growth were removed.

“Skills and labour shortages mean employers are struggling to recruit. Employers tell us they need a skills and immigration system that works for business as well as education providers, and that they need additional support.

“Businesses need a predictable, reliable and affordable transport infrastructure allowing them to move their people, products and services with ease – not just within the county, but across the country.

“It is crucial that businesses in Shropshire are served by adequate connectivity to conduct their business. Gaps in broadband and mobile connectivity stifle business productivity and competitiveness.

“Shropshire businesses continue to thrive and explore trade avenues globally, but more needs to be done to promote Shropshire, and Shropshire-made goods and services overseas.

“The county’s economic growth must also be underpinned by sustainability – businesses are consciously aware that economic growth cannot come at the expense of Shropshire’s natural capital, or the climate.”

She added: “Businesses in Shropshire know that it is a great place to do business. The county’s rural strengths, industrial heritage and excellent quality of life all combine to create an unparalleled business environment.

“The Shropshire economy thrives when business and decision-makers work in partnership. The county has an unparalleled entrepreneurial spirit with a proven track record in start-up success.

“Our manifesto for 2024-26 sets out our ambitions and a call to action for policy and decision makers to join us in championing growth and creating the economic conditions for businesses to thrive.”

Click here to view the Manifesto.