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Mid-Warwickshire businesses urged to share ideas and seek support to tackle costs crisis

7 December 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Mid-Warwickshire businesses urged to share ideas and seek support to tackle costs crisis

The importance of businesses sharing best practice and knowledge around coping with rising prices in the wake of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was the main point of discussion at a recent meeting of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Warwickshire branch.

Members came together at Comtec Translations’ offices at Victoria Court in Leamington Spa to network and discuss the main issues they have been facing.

And it was major worries around energy bills and access to finance – especially in the wake of Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement – that were high on the agenda.

However, attendees also highlighted the many grant schemes in the area operated by local authorities and other public bodies in the region, such as the CWRT Duplex Investment Fund, the Green Business Programme, and various local authority programmes to help keep businesses going.

Businesses in attendance also heard from Heather Docksey and Louise Stoltz from Warwickshire Skills Hub about the support it offers to SMEs and larger firms through sourcing new talent and apprentices, producing case studies, and creating recruitment plans.

Sophie Howe, Director at Comtec Translations, said: “We’re in a good place at the moment, but we know it’s going to be difficult in the coming months to keep overheads down with energy costs spiralling.

"Recruiting new talent is a whole new landscape these days as well as continuously ensuring our team feel supported.

“I really appreciated hearing from fellow Chamber members about some of the funds they’d used or were aware of to help keep them going, and from the Skills Hub about the great work they do in our region.

“I think it’s so valuable for businesses to get together and talk through their issues, because someone often has a solution that others might not be aware of. This meeting was just one example of that.”

Peter Burns, Board Member and former President of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s clear that businesses value communicating and learning from each other in how to cope with the challenges we are all facing.

“It’s crucial that we as a Chamber are there for our members and continue to encourage businesses not only to come to us if they need help, but to regularly network and talk to each other as well.

“We have a phenomenal amount of knowledge between the businesses in our region, so it’s vital it gets shared as much as possible.

“While it will be a challenging time for a lot of businesses in the coming months, we are here for them. I would urge any business looking for advice and support to contact us.

Pictured (left to right) are Alex Kerr (Chamber), Sophie Howe (Comtec), Peter Burns (Chamber)

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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