Friday, October 24, 2008

News: Regional forum continues call to support manufacturing


Despite the current economic downturn and predictions of recession, manufacturing in South Yorkshire remains strong, a new business grouping has declared. Order books remain buoyant and there are good long-term prospects in markets like aerospace, oil and gas, medical, and power generation. The new South Yorkshire Manufacturing Forum has been formed to speak up on behalf of local manufacturers to demand practical and sustained support from the Government. It comprises all the Chambers of Commerce in South Yorkshire, the Cutlers' Company and the EEF members, and is calling for the Government to protect the fundamental things that will help manufacturing remain competitive for the next five, 10, or 20 years. Manufacturing Forum member Richard Wright said: "The outlook for manufacturing is good. As well as all the innovative work going on in our region, there are plenty of new opportunities on the horizon. "The Government needs to ensure that manufacturers' tax and regulation burdens do not increase any more - and reduce them where possible. The Government should also be championing flexible labour laws, credit availability, and research and development support. All this will allow manufacturers to invest in new equipment, new products and new skills." Forum chairman and Master Cutler Martin Howell said: "Cash flow is key at this point. This is not a time for banks to be reducing credit availability and one thing we can all do is pay our suppliers on time - small companies will struggle to survive if their customers take longer to pay. This is one area where public organisations in particular could have a really positive impact on SMEs in our region - by paying their suppliers promptly, they will be helping to ensure the future of our local manufacturers."


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