Colors: Purple Color

A new report from global retail property experts, Colliers International, shows that while online shopping is growing rapidly, the way that people around the world shop and pay for their goods remains very diverse. The largest European e-commerce market is found in the UK with online sales currently running at around at £130bn ($160bn) annually. British seniors are among the most tech-savvy consumers in the world with 78 per cent of internet users over 65 now shopping online.

Business leaders in Birmingham have welcomed the Government's announcement of the second phase of HS2. The Government today confirmed its preferred route for phase two of the project, which will connect the West Midlands with Manchester and Leeds.  The first phase – which will run from London to Birmingham - is expected to gain Royal Ascent shortly. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said the northern part of the route is crucial to provide connectivity for all of the country’s major cities. 

A leading British security hardware and electronics business is expanding its operations to develop a state-of-the-art product development, manufacturing and distribution facility at its new i54 South Staffordshire headquarters. ERA, a division of Tyman plc, is consolidating its three Midlands based operations at the major regional business hub, developed by an award-winning partnership of Staffordshire County, City of Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire councils.

Families visiting London from overseas this summer have potentially made huge savings during their stay, according to data from, the city's official visitor guide. The news emerged as the Mayor of London participated in the opening of the new flagship LEGO store in Leicester Square – the largest in the world – and extended his #LondonIsOpen message to international visitors and shoppers, saying there's never been a better time to enjoy the city's unrivalled shopping scene.

Birmingham Airport has seen over a million passengers pass through its terminal for another month making October its twentieth consecutive month of record breaking growth. In total 1,074,242 passengers were recorded travelling through the airport, up by 16.7% compared to the same month last year – equivalent to over 154,000 more passengers. Short haul saw the most significant passenger growth rates for the month up by 16.8% year-on-year compared to long haul which increased by 14.4%.

A free trade agreement between the UK and India would increase trade between the countries by 25 per cent, new research undertaken by the Commonwealth shows. If implemented post-Brexit, UK’s exports to India would increase by 50 per cent, from $5.2 billion to $7.8 billion, according to the research estimates. Exports of UK products such as cars, beverages and spirits are expected to rise.  The Commonwealth also predicts a 12 per cent annual increase in India’s exports to the UK.

Birmingham has already achieved international renown as the UK's second city, but now new data from revolutionary trading platform has revealed that "Brum" is beating other second cities around the world when it comes to off-plan property investment. There's no doubting Birmingham's popularity as a travel destination. Birmingham International Airport has recorded 19 consecutive months of record-breaking growth, with 1,207,796 passengers travelling through the airport in September 2016 alone, up by 15.8% on the previous September.

New member of The Platinum Group – Service Sector, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre recently showcased their fabulous new makeover at a series of popular networking evenings. They have proved very successful and allow local business leaders to develop their relationships in a relaxed and informal manner, whilst enjoying a night at the theatre in a wonderful setting. With the new makeover come numerous opportunities for businesses to utilise the theatre as part of their promotional, conferencing or hospitality plans.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for the sell-out Annual Awards Dinner on 18th November at Wolverhampton Racecourse. With places selling out in record time and over 450 guests ready to join in the celebrations, this event is set to be a huge success. The Black Country Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner, sponsored by voestalpine Metsec plc, is a perfect opportunity to celebrate and reward the excellent businesses in the Black Country.

With a platform which included a stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the Mexico border, reform of veterans' care, repeal and tax cuts, plus renegotiation of trade deals with China, the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, takes office.

As millions around the world rise to the plebiscite exacted upon the new Trump Administration, the consequential effects of such a national decision would be subjects for analysis, discussion and debate for years to come. Over 50% of Americans rejected the conventional wisdom of ‘establishment politics’ by replacing it with an ‘untested’ media-savvy corporate approach, as the proletariat class swung the pendulum.

The Leader and Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council have responded to the latest letter to the current Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, welcoming the recognition of the progress the council is making. The Leader of the council, Councillor John Clancy, said: “I welcome the panel’s acknowledgment, just two years into a five-year improvement programme, that Birmingham City Council has already made considerable progress.

Most cities in the Midlands are performing above the UK average, according to the latest 2016 Good Growth for Cities Index, produced by PwC and the think-tank, Demos. The fifth annual Good Growth index measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships LEPs  and the new Combined Authorities against a basket of categories defined by the public and business as key to local socio-economic success.

Sandwell’s adult social care chief has given the thumbs-up to a new extra care housing development in West Bromwich during a visit to meet residents and others who attend activities there. Councillor Ann Shackleton, the council’s cabinet member for social care, said everyone she met at Oakley Gardens seemed happy and settled. Developed in partnership with Housing and Care 21, Oakley Gardens is set within landscaped gardens and has 81 one and two-bedroom apartments for residents aged 55 and over with care and support needs.

Retailers and business owners in Seychelles this week had the opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions of environment officials ahead of the ban on plastic that begins in January. The Principal Secretary for Environment Alain Decommarmond said the dialogue was important “to ensure there is a smooth transition so that we can meet the January deadline without any problems.”