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COMMENT


THE LAST WORD


ROB MAYO, Chamber President, on the issues that are worth talking about


A voice for East Midlands businesses


One of the great privileges of being President of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) is that I have regular opportunities to engage with, and listen to, Chamber members of all sizes, sectors and locations about what current business conditions look like for them. The Chamber, through its Quarterly Economic


Survey, which is kindly sponsored by the University of Leicester School of Business, carries out some excellent and crucial fieldwork in terms of assessing, analysing and acting on the views and needs of our region’s businesses throughout the year. These findings, which feed into the British Chambers of Commerce’s comprehensive nationwide Quarterly Economic Survey, are augmented for me personally by the regular one-to-one, first-hand conversations I have with businesses on our patch. And the main thing that I take from these


conversations? That the Chamber must continue its excellent work in providing a united, coherent and effective voice on behalf of our members at the highest level; championing the great East Midlands and engaging key influencers and decision-makers in the process. Such an approach enables our members to


have their say on current, and indeed future, conditions at a local, regional and national level. After all, business is the creator of wealth and as such must be supported through favourable operating conditions and it is absolutely crucial that their voices, collectively, are heard. The East Midlands as a region has been described by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, in the past as a “bellwether for the UK economy” – our input and influence should, and must, be front-and-centre when it comes to the discourse


70 business network June 2018


and decisions relating to this country’s future aspirations. But that’s only the start. While giving


our members a voice is important, it matters little if these individual voices are not unified in a way that can affect tangible change. The Chamber must have the insight and mandate from its members to confidently articulate a unified message on behalf of you, our valued members. At a time when businesses are faced with significant levels of uncertainty – the ongoing and complex Brexit negotiations a case in point – it is arguably more important than ever for the East Midlands’ business community to be able to rely on the Chamber to be an advocate for the region and to champion its causes; here the Chamber is continuing to provide that level of leadership. The Chamber operates broadly through five


separate but interconnected strands: Grow; Connect; Skills; Influence and International Trade. Every business has differing priorities and objectives but, whatever success looks like for your business and whatever your reason(s) for joining the 4,100+ businesses in Chamber membership, the Chamber’s activity is underpinned by its ability to offer that authoritative, unified and respected voice at the heart of local, regional and national policy; delivered directly to those tasked with making the decisions that will affect our region and the country in the years and decades to come. What do we need from you as Chamber members? We simply need you to continue to engage with us, our services and offerings. Keep letting us know about the fantastic work you are doing; keep attending our networking and policy events; take advantage of our varied industry


and sector- focused activity and keep filling in our Quarterly Economic Survey. The Chamber continues to enjoy a phenomenal and ever-increasing level of engagement with its members to influence how we approach local, regional, national and even international matters of importance with Government and key decision-makers. Further engagement only serves to strengthen


and solidify these messages – ensuring we can campaign and influence on your behalf as a united voice for the region with even greater clarity and effectiveness. For all the uncertainties afflicting the business


community, here in the East Midlands we continue to display the traits so synonymous with the region – tenacity, robustness, innovation, dynamism and proactivity. I firmly believe that together we are greater


than the sum of our parts and the Chamber looks forward to serving the interests of our members in the coming years, providing the leadership you need to ensure our region – and the businesses operating in it – are able to flourish for years to come.


Join the conversation by following @EMCBizNetwork and Tweet using the hashtag #LastWord


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