Chambers of commerce across the West Midlands Combined Authority area called in their recent ‘Rebounding for Business’ manifesto for the mayor’s office to lead the region from pandemic survival to economic revival, make the West Midlands the most business-friendly place in the UK, develop a transport network fit for the 21st century and help businesses adapt to a post-Brexit landscape.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce said it looks forward to working with Andy Street in his second term of office.
Corin Crane, Black Country Chamber chief executive said: “Over the last four years, Mayor Street has been a champion for businesses across our four areas and has helped to unlock funding and begin the process of improving our public transit network. This has all taken place against a backdrop which has been one of the most challenging for our members with Brexit and the pandemic radically altering how business is done.
“The region still has a number of challenges to overcome in the future with longstanding issues which address skills gaps, inequalities and ensure that we primed and ready to maximise the opportunities of any recovery. We look forward to resuming our work with Mayor Street and making the Black Country a great place for business.”
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce also pledged to work with Mr Street to help the region get back on its feet after being “shaken to the core” by Covid-19 and Brexit.
Before first being elected mayor in 2017, Mr Street was boss of retailer John Lewis for more than a decade. He also led the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership as chairman from 2011 to 2016.
Henrietta Brealey , chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “We congratulate Andy on his re-election as West Midlands Mayor – it’s been a hard fought campaign which has taken place in the most extraordinary circumstances.
"Having worked closely with Andy and the senior team at the West Midlands Combined Authority for a number of years, the chamber look forward to building on that spirit of collaboration and ensuring that the voice of business is central to the mayor’s plans for revitalising the region.
“During the election campaign, the chamber worked to get businesses’ needs front and centre on candidates’ agendas with our manifesto, produced with and for our members: Rebounding for Business: Vision for the West Midlands Mayor.
“It was great to see Andy back a number of the actions we called for around getting the region back on track as we emerge from the pandemic, green growth opportunities and maximising the impact of two once in a generation opportunities: HS2 and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“Between Brexit and Covid-19 it has been quite the year for the business community to put it mildly.
“As a chamber we stand ready to work with the mayor and ensure that the West Midlands emerges from the pandemic ready to drive ahead on jobs, investment and innovation, re-establishing our place in the country and the world.”
Richard Butler, Confederation of British Industry West Midlands director, said: “Congratulations to Andy Street on his re-election as West Midlands Mayor.
“The re-elected mayor is taking up office at a pivotal time as the economy looks to bounce back from the challenges of Covid, Brexit and climate change.
“It will take commitment and partnership between business and the mayor to turbocharge the region’s recovery. That means establishing a strong economic vision, while championing investment in sustainable infrastructure and the creation of a dynamic, skills-rich workforce.
“CBI members in the West Midlands look forward to continuing to work closely with the mayor to deliver on these regional growth priorities and establish a business environment fit for the future.”