A “WAR CABINET” has been launched to provide a voice for organisations and businesses in Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire in the economic downturn.
Brian Woods-Scawen from the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership (CSWP) will chair the quarterly meeting of the Say It Loud forum which includes senior leaders from public and private organisations.
He said it was vital the support available for businesses in the recession was flexible and less rigid.
“It was clear from our first meeting that there is a clear need to keep advice simple for businesses trying to navigate through a maze of initiatives and support which may be available,” Woods-Scawen said.
“In the near future, business rates are set to increase and feedback from businesses in the region highlights that this is a major factor which is proving a worry in the next month.
“But small businesses can apply for business relief by filling in a two-page form which is available from www.businessrates.gov.uk.”
Five key points were identified at the first meeting at CSWP’s headquarters in Foleshill – and two of them have already been put into action.
“Local authorities in Coventry and Warwickshire have committed to paying bills to private sector organisations within ten days which is really important for cash flow in these difficult times,” Woods-Scawen said.
“Businesses that haven’t been affected as much as others in the recession are those that are already exporting and the Chamber and Coventry University are continuing to increase the awareness of the value of international trade.
“Over the next few months we will be promoting the benefits of young people continuing to stay on in education, increasing the secondments from local businesses to higher education and holding workshops to maximise the procurement of contracts with public sector organisations in the sub-region.
“We want to be positive because we want to keep the message that this sub-region is worth investing in.”
The forum is made up of representatives from the following authorities: Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Learning Skills Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Rugby Borough Council, Coventry University, the University of Warwick, JobcentrePlus, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Warwick District Council, Stratford-upon-Avon District Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, North Warwickshire District Council, Blitz Games and EDI plc.