This year’s economic panel will be led by Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, and alongside Steve the panel will be joined by Mark Berrisford-Smith, head economist at HSBC Commercial Banking; Jonathan Browning, chair of Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; and Sarah Pullen, Managing Director of Reach Plc.
Harcourt said that Coventry and Warwickshire had bucked national trends over recent years but that the uncertainty is beginning to take its toll.
He said: “Many factors impact on businesses, but by far the most concerning is uncertainty. Uncertainty in economic performance, uncertainty in how rules and laws are to change and uncertainty in the workforce to mention just a few issues.
“We are currently working within a mist of uncertainty and local businesses we talk to have many unanswerable questions. The impact of this uncertainty has affected not only those that trade internationally but all businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire to some degree, as well as the country as a whole.
“We are expecting another drop in economic output throughout the region for Q3 of 2019 as the business confidence we were seeing this time last year takes a tumble.
“Political and economic factors nationally and in the region over the last quarter have not been kind and we seem to be stumbling towards a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which could raise the chances of an economic downturn in the UK.
“Coventry and Warwickshire will be no exception to this, even where our local economy has stayed strong and prospered; bucking national trends over recent years. We’ve seen a mix of some businesses that have made contingency plans for each eventually and others that don’t know where to start.
“The Chamber has always been a respected resource for local businesses and the advice they can provide allows the local business community to draw on resources that they perhaps haven’t got internally.
“The date of the Annual Conference is rather timely as it’s after the Brexit deadline and the current assumption is that we will have left the EU by then.
“Prime has always embraced the opportunity to advise and assist the local business community and we welcome the opportunity to pass on our knowledge as part of the expert speaker panel.
“Although leaving the EU won’t be welcomed by all, passing the deadline and this period of uncertainty will be. By the time conference comes round we will know where we stand on our Brexit financial settlement and everyone can plan with more certainty for a new business landscape.”
The conference, which is headline sponsored by WCG and supported by the Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs, will also hear from keynote speaker Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE – the record-breaking expedition leader, who was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles by foot.
Presenter, broadcaster and journalist, Naga Munchetty, best known from BBC Breakfast, will host the conference, which will feature addresses and panel discussions with a range of business figures and key decision makers.
For more information and to book your place at the conference visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events