Companies in Coventry and Warwickshire can expect 2024 to be another year where they have to ‘dig in’ according to the new president of a leading business organisation.
Steve Harcourt, director of Prime Accountants Group, was sworn in as president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for the next two years, replacing Tom Mongan in the role.
Steve said he was honoured to be taking up the post and that the region was well-placed to overcome another tough year economically with potential for stronger growth in 2025.
He said: “I’m truly humbled and honoured to become president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
“The organisation has built up 120 years of supporting companies across the region through some of the toughest times economically and socially.
“It was first started to help bring businesses together to speak as one voice and to enhance trade both at home and abroad. Our remit hasn’t changed!
“When I look at some of the names that have held this position previously, I see people who have made a major positive impact in our region and I want to take this opportunity to do the same.
“I would like to pay tribute to Tom Mongan who has held the role of president for three years due to the unprecedented circumstances we’ve all had to face as the pandemic hit.
“He did great work in getting out and meeting businesses as the economy started to reopen and ensured that the message got out that Coventry and Warwickshire was open for business.
“We are still not back to where we want to be as an economy and, of course, other global factors have had a huge effect on our region.
“I believe 2024 is going to be another year where we have to dig in because, while inflation is falling, we are still going to be impacted by higher interest rates than businesses have been used to over the past few years.
“Coventry and Warwickshire is very well placed to overcome the hurdles and our businesses have shown over the past few years that despite uncertainty, we are very resilient.
“There was positive news in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on the investment zone coming to the region and, prior to that, we heard that the West Midlands was receiving more than £10 million in Local Skills Improvement Fund money.
“So, while I can see 2024 being a challenge, it can also be the year to lay the groundwork for growth in the years ahead.”
As Steve became president, the Chamber also welcomed four new members to its board – Sarah Windrum, of MIRA; Olivia Parrish of Leap People Solutions; Julie McGarrigle, of Alsters Kelley; and Jo Glover, of Coventry BID.
Paul Sullivan stepped down from the board after 25 years of service, including a stint as president.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Steve has been an active member on the Chamber board for many years and, most recently, as vice president.
“He has an excellent handle on the economy of Coventry and Warwickshire and will make an outstanding president. We are incredibly grateful to Tom for everything he’s done in the past three years and I am sure he’ll still play a very active role in ensuring the local economy thrives.”