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ISSUE 10: FEBRUARY 2021

Welcome inside the interactive, digital version of PROSPER Magazine!

As the region's longest-running business publication, PROSPER brings you news, views, insights and information from the Black Country and beyond and is read by key business leaders.

In 2021, we will be releasing a special digital edition every month to ensure readers are provided with the very latest news, information and insights.

In this edition, we introduce the brand new BLACK COUNTRY 2.0 initiative and look ahead to a prosperous 2021.

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CONTENTS | INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Sarah Thompson

EDITOR'S WORD

Editor, Sarah Thompson introduces you to this latest edition of PROSPER Magazine.

Corin-Crane

REGIONAL REVIEW

Black Country Chamber's Chief Executive, Corin Crane shares his monthly regional review.

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BUSINESS IS DONE BETTER TOGETHER

Find out how the Black Country Chamber is working hard to support local businesses and discover the host of initiatives available in 2021.

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INTRODUCING BLACK COUNTRY 2.0

Black Country 2.0 is a joined-up call to action and a rallying cry to ensure the region can reboot, rebuild and rebound.

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NEWS IN BRIEF

All the latest news, insights and information from the Black Country Business Community

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BLACK COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL

Meet the experts available to advise you in international trading.

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CLOSING THE SKILLS GAP

Walsall and the West Midlands are ahead of the curve as the Department of Education releases its ‘blueprint for the future' of Further Education as Prosper talks to Walsall College Principal and Chief Executive, Jatinder Sharma OBE.

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NATWEST DOUBLE FEMALE FUNDING

Just ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th we look at the recent announcement by NatWest to provide an additional £1bn in funding to help support female-led businesses in the UK recover from the coronavirus.

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NATIONAL EXPRESS WELCOMES TYRE BAN

The Managing Director of National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT) has welcomed new legislation banning the use of tyres over 10 years old on buses, coaches, minibuses and HGVs. However, he wants the legislation to go further.

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LENDER SHARES THREE KEY WORDS OF ADVICE

West Midlands based alternative business lender BCRS Business Loans believes that there is some cause for optimism in the coming months, despite the difficulties small businesses are currently facing in the third national lockdown in England.

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DEGREE APPRENTICESHIPS

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE QUALIFICATIONS

The University of Wolverhampton spent the week celebrating and showcasing the impact Apprenticeships have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.

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FROM RAINBOW PICTURES TO ICU HOSPITAL WARDS

Express & Star photographer Tim Thursfield has documented the progress of Covid-19, and the public’s reaction to the pandemic. 

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PROTECTING EMPLOYEES FROM COVID-19

Prosper takes a look at some workers who have been forced into work with bosses unwilling to follow guidelines.

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COVID - SUPPORT 'SKEWED TOWARDS MEN', SAY MPS

Government policies have "repeatedly skewed towards men", a committee of MPs has said in a report on the impact of coronavirus on men and women.

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FORRESTERS EMPLOYS YOUNG RECRUITS DURING COVID-19

Forresters is bucking the national trend, which has seen thousands of companies delay or cancel their trainee and apprenticeship schemes due to Covid-19.

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CONALL’S CANCER JOURNEY

We hear about the trauma of teenage cancer from Joanna Smith and find out more about the support available for victims.

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IT’S TIME TO TALK – BUT ARE YOU REALLY LISTENING?

Through year-round campaigning and its pivotal annual event Time to Talk, the Time to Change movement has improved millions of people’s attitudes towards mental health.

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TRANSPORT PLAN IS REALLY MOVING DESPITE PANDEMIC SAYS MAYOR

We hear from Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.

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WEST MIDLANDS BUSINESS EXPO

Discover the best of the region's business community at this spring's virtual expo

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SOCIAL MEDIA -  'FIRED' AFTER TIKTOK VIDEO POSTS

In this month’s edition, we talk to Amy Brokenshire, an Associate in the employment team at Higgs and Sons Solicitors and ask what employers can do to mitigate the risks.

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CAN YOU MAKE EMPLOYEES HAVE VACCINATIONS?

The chairman of a high-profile London plumbing firm has stated he plans to rewrite all of his workers' contracts to require them to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

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THE CHAMBER PATRON GROUP

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