A warm welcome to you all for our first newsletter of 2018. I hope you all had a great festive break and that you’ve returned feeling energised for another exciting year for local business.
We are already seeing progress in the delivery of our Growth Deal projects, with work now underway on the flood alleviation improvements to New Road in Worcester. For a summary of some of the fantastic growth deal projects Worcestershire LEP was involved in last year, download our 2017 Annual Report here.
I would like to encourage businesses to sign up to the Worcestershire Skills Show 2018 and book your stand at the event. This is a great opportunity to raise the profile of your business and industry to over 1,800 young students from across the county.
There are two fantastic business awards which are currently open for applications. The Federation of Small Business Awards is set to celebrate some of the West Midlands most outstanding businesses at their Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018. Today is the last day remaining to register your business for the awards, so make sure you apply today. Last week also saw the opening of the HW Chamber Business Awards and there are a number of awards available to enter that could see your business succeed in the national ceremony also.
As always, there is a large amount of business support available within the county and I would encourage local SMEs to look further into the support of Midlands Engine Investment Fund which is investing £120million of debt finance and small business loans to eligible firms. There are also £10million worth of funds available for the county’s educators through the Flexible Learning Fund and to local innovators with a £12,000 prize available through the WINN programme.
I look forward to meeting with many local companies at events taking place during the year and I believe that Worcestershire is well placed to reach new heights in business.