The Chamber Brexit Club, including front, centre, Louise Bennett (chief executive of the Chamber), David Burton and James Ahearne.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit Club met at Coombe Abbey Hotel – two years on from its first meeting after it was established by the Chamber to support companies across the patch and feedback information to Westminster via the British Chambers of Commerce.
Since being set-up, it has held a series of meetings and workshops to help best prepare businesses for the variable outcomes of leaving the EU and to also hear about individual issues from a range of firms.
Hundreds of companies from across the patch have engaged with the Brexit Club and its latest meeting heard from companies from a range of sectors in the region.
The club also heard from David Hope, of Coventry City Council, who presented findings of research that has been taken into the impact of Brexit on the region.
David Burton, who chairs the Brexit Club, said: “When we first met two years ago, our message to Government was to deliver a deal that businesses could prepare for and work with.
“Two years on and the whole thing appears to be more complicated and more political than ever before.
“We have been very keen to stay out of the politics and look at the real issues. We’ve also looked at the various ways that businesses can get prepared for Brexit in ways that would stand them in good stead any way.
“It’s not all doom and gloom – there were manufacturers in the room saying how busy they are, that they are investing and that new orders are still coming their way.
“Others expressed frustration and believe that the current situation is the calm before the storm.
“What is clear is that the majority of businesses want to avoid the messiness and disorderly nature of a so-called No Deal Brexit and have the transition period to get ready for the changes that are coming.”
James Ahearne, the International Trade Hub Manager, added: “For many companies it’s too late for No Deal if they haven’t already started preparations – there’s just isn’t time now for businesses or the authorities to sufficiently prepare for it.
“Businesses need a deal that they can work towards, with reasonable timescales for implementation. If they get that, I sense there is optimism about the future and that firms are getting ready to take a global outlook.
“What is also clear is that there needs to be support out there for companies to not just survive whatever comes at them in the next few weeks, months and years, but also to thrive and grow.”
For more information on events or support, go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk