Shropshire business leader has faith in local economy

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

A leading businesswoman believes the county’s economy will continue to thrive – despite the ongoing political uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Passionate about the Marches area: Mandy Thorn MBE, centre, flanked by Paul Bennett and Paul Hinkins

Mandy Thorn MBE, who has recently been appointed the new chair of the Marches LEP, said the region is home to some “incredible” businesses who should continue to focus on what they do well.

Despite continued uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the EU, Mrs Thorn said there is plenty of advice and support available to help the region’s businesses.

“All of us need to focus on business. We know what we need to continue, we are not going to drop off a cliff,” she said.

“If you need information, advice and guidance there is a huge amount out there. Get advice, don’t bury your head in the sand.

“We have got some incredible businesses in Shropshire and have some innovative and enterprising people.

“We will continue to have innovative and enterprising people after we leave the EU. Fundamentally business has to go on and it will go on.”

Mrs Thorn admits further improvements need to be made to the region’s infrastructure to help businesses continue to grow. “We don’t have a good road network, we don’t have a great public transport network, and whilst some of us have benefitted from broadband upgrades, there are still others who haven’t. There are barriers which make it difficult for businesses to do better,” she said. “We need to ensure the Marches can attract new businesses and make it thrive.

“We need to compete with businesses across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. I know we have businesses who do just that but we need more of them to do it.

“We need to put together a strong case to the government for support. We need to say what we are good at, what we could be good at, and how we can make a difference by working together.”

Mrs Thorn was the guest speaker at Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s Big Business Expo held at Shrewsbury Town Football Club on October 10.

James Pugh

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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