Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to access the strong business support eco-system in the area to help weather the Perfect Storm affecting the economy.
The latest Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub SmartRegion report focuses on the Perfect Storm – Spring 2022 to highlight the range of potentially severe economic issues that are currently aligning and are likely to impact on businesses across the sub-region over the coming months.
The report, which collects information from the Growth Hub’s business engagements as well as from CWLEP, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and other organisations, underlines how Covid-19, Russia’s military action in Ukraine, the current cost of living crisis, and the rapidly rising costs of doing business are contributing to a volatile economy.
Help and support is available for businesses in all sectors whatever their size from the CWLEP Growth Hub, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust, Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the Department for International Trade.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration, and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, is also urging businesses to innovate through introducing new products and services, or diversifying into new markets.
He said: “I would encourage businesses to make full use of Coventry and Warwickshire’s first-class business support eco-system, which provides a wide range of support, advice, and guidance to respond to individual business challenges.
“We are aware that the West Midlands had the biggest economic shock of any region in 2020 and is expected to take the longest to recover to pre-Covid levels.
“During these challenging times, it is more important than ever for businesses to try and look to do new things, either to expand their revenue streams, minimise costs and try and stay profitable especially through introducing new products or services, or improving business processes.
“We have built our strong business support eco-system over a long period of time with careful planning and co-ordination, but it is now more important than ever that government invests sufficient amounts in preserving and enhancing this eco-system to ensure we can support businesses of all sizes to respond to the challenges and opportunities we are facing.
“To realise Levelling Up, it is really important that we see more public investment coming into our region on supporting our supply chain to innovate.
“It is important that future business support funds and programmes invest in activities to develop the skills of the workforce, alongside measures to support businesses to grow and innovate, and ensure that Coventry and Warwickshire residents reap the full rewards of our business support activities.”
Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said staff shortages were also giving businesses a further headache which is where CW Employment Solutions could provide the answers.
“Business support organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire will continue to focus on minimising the negative economic impacts from our Perfect Storm,” he said.
“Whether that is from the pandemic, European Union exit, energy costs, or any other driver, to help continue the reset, reopening, and recovery of our economy, and minimise the growing number of negative impacts of the costs of doing business, we are here to help.
“One of those services is the CW Employment Solutions website which is free and links up jobseekers with employers who have posted their vacancies, and is a great way of bringing businesses and those searching for a job together.
For more information, please visit the CWEmployment Solutions website