Colors: Purple Color

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham said that Andy Street had been an “outstanding ambassador” for the region after he announced that he is resigning as chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. Mr Street (pictured) said he is standing down because he had applied to be the Conservative candidate for the West Midlands Mayoral election next year. The party is expected to announce the candidate at next month’s conference at the ICC in Birmingham and should he be successful, Mr Street has agreed to stand down from his role at John Lewis.

One in five landlords are too embarrassed to admit it, according to a recent poll of almost 800 residential property investors. The findings show that on average 21 per cent of landlords have been too embarrassed to admit it before. Across the UK, more landlords in the East of England and the East Midlands said they were embarrassed to admit it compared to any other region (29 per cent and 28 per cent respectively).

Business leaders in Greater Birmingham expect manufacturing output from the region to “bounce back” in August after national figures for July showed that it fell by 0.9 per cent on the month, but was up by 0.8% on the year. Total industrial production in July 2016 was up by 0.1 per cent on the month and was up by 2.1 per cent on the year. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) are currently surveying members for their third Quarterly Business Report of the year.

Wolverhampton Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will have the chance to win £10,000 of support and advice from KPMG in the ‘Wolves’ Den’ during the city’s Business Week.City of Wolverhampton Council has joined forces with the leading professional services firm to offer eight slots to local SMEs, who will then pitch to a panel of experienced business professionals and partners from KPMG.

Capital expenditure of £5m in 2015, bringing the investment total to £30m over the last five years, is identified as the reason Aston Manor Cider continues to outperform expectations and transform its business. The numbers, revealed as the accounts for 2015 are filed, point to a consistent investment approach and are a clear signal of the confidence the management team has in their future prospects.

A Midlands textile designer, who creates retro-style aprons using her own hand-drawn fabric designs, is cooking up the next stage of growth after her initial export success. Gaena Martin, who launched The SundayGirl Company with her partner from her Kidderminster home nearly three years ago, is also set to launch her own dress collection after the retail success of her kitsch 1950s-style aprons.

Sandwell's businesses can now sponsor more than 80 roundabouts and boundary signs across the borough to promote their businesses. Council bosses are hoping the move will generate much-needed revenue to help protect front-line services. Sandwell Council leader, Councillor Steve Eling, said: "The council is having to look at alternative ways of raising money as part of our efforts to defend services hit by government cuts.

Average property prices in the UK’s top 50 university cities have risen by more than 27% or £66,000 in the past three years, according to research by online estate agents HouseSimple.com. And in 60% of these cities - for students on a three-year degree graduating this year - house price growth would have covered the £27,000 tuition fees they had to pay - or rather their parents had to pay.

Following the success of The Platinum Group, a strong brand working with the manufacturing, automotive, logistics, freight & transport sector; Black Country Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the launch of The Platinum Group Service Sector. This network of strategically important businesses within the service industry, representing key service providers across Tourism & Leisure, Travel, Accountancy, Law, Banking, Training, Health & Safety, Insurance, Architects and Education will be working together to build strong business relationships through peer-to-peer working and sharing best practice.

As the Country's leaders begin to reconvene, we saw a creative and courageous 'Junior Cabinet' come together to put their views across on how we should tackle the big issues of the day, and offer food for thought for the full time decision makers. The event was pulled together by Stagecoach Performing Arts, whose mission is to equip the UK's children of all ages with a broad range of skills for life through the experience of creative arts.

Blue Air, the largest Romanian carrier that started operations earlier this year from Birmingham Airport, is adding another route to its network. The airline will start flights to Larnaca on the south coast of Cyprus from April 2017. Having only started in March 2016 with a twice-weekly service to Bucharest, on the success of this it then announced a second route to Cluj-Napoca, the capital and heart of Transylvania, commencing in December this year. Larnaca, a popular destination, will mean that Blue Air has 10 flights a week from Birmingham Airport.

With a new report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters out today (FRI) showing that like-for-like graduate vacancies are down, Midlands FTSE 100 company Severn Trent has revealed that it is bucking the trend by taking on a record number of grads this year. The company, which is based in Coventry and which supplies water and waste water services to the Midlands and mid-Wales, will be taking on 45 graduates this year, compared to 27 last year.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, will convene the 11th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministerial Meeting (WAMM) on 6 to 8 September 2016 in Apia, hosted by the Government of Samoa. At the triennial event, ministers and leading campaigners on gender equality will celebrate women’s leadership and promote better equality to deliver global goals on development, human rights and climate change.

The afternoon drop in productivity across the nation's meetings attendees is a well-known occurrence according to a recent survey, with 44 percent of respondents confirming they feel less productive between 2-4pm. A recent global survey by Hilton, which uncovered the habits of British, German and U.S. meeting attendees, revealed that over one in three (34 percent) admitted to feeling drowsy or falling asleep during meetings after lunch.  

Council leader Cllr John Clancy declared ‘Birmingham is open for business’ after signing an agreement with Chinese property development company Country Garden worth up to £2 billion to the Birmingham economy. Cllr Clancy is on a week-long trade mission to China and Hong Kong, where he is looking for big-money investors to build houses and create jobs across the city.

The number of people moving home in the first half of 2016 was significantly higher than in the same period last year. New figures from the Lloyds Bank Homemover Review show 174,000 people moved into a new property between January and June, a rise of nine per cent on the corresponding six months in 2015 and almost 50 per cent more than the 2007 low. Such an increase was reported despite some experts claiming the property market was affected by Brexit uncertainty in the second quarter.