Sophie Howe, Mid-Warwickshire branch chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
We had a great turnout for our latest branch event and there seems to be a strong feeling that business is picking up in this area, which is very positive.
It was great to hear BID Leamington’s plans to showcase the town at the Chelsea Flower Show and also to hear from our MP Chris White who told us more about a jobs fair and networking event at the town hall on March 4.
With the region’s economy getting stronger, the chamber continues to play a very important role in that.
We are holding our annual Business & Trade Expo at the Ricoh Arena on Friday, February 28 from 10am until 3pm.
The exhibition stands have already been booked but hundreds of delegates are expected on the day at is a great chance to meet and network with other firms from the region.
There will also be seminars on international trade and social media throughout the day, two factors which should become staple parts of any business’s future plan.
There is a great deal of talk in the media about rebalancing the economy towards manufacturing and engineering and towards exporting.
Exporting is something I have been very keen to push and, when it comes to international trade, the chamber has always offered outstanding support to companies across this region in finding new markets overseas and, it has enhanced that over recent years.
There were also positive figures out recently from the British Chambers of Commerce and DHL, which said that companies are growing in confidence when it comes to exporting.
At the chamber, we also published figures of the number of companies tapping into its Export Documentation service.
That continues to rise and in January more than £22million worth of export business was done from Coventry and Warwickshire thanks to that service.
In terms of manufacturing and engineering, we have a breakfast event preceding the expo on February 28, which starts at 8.30am. It will offer information and advice to companies in that sector on how they can increase overseas trade.
I hope to see plenty of companies from this area at the event and look forward to doing business with them.