Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Business South have formed a new strategic partnership to help provide unified representation for the region’s businesses, and a gateway through which business issues can be heard and help to form future economic support and strategy.

The two key business led organisations will work collaboratively to engage with businesses, ensuring that support to address issues associated with COVID-19 is robust and appropriate.

One of 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships in England, the purpose of Enterprise M3 is to identify and champion the priorities that the business community needs to enable businesses and the local economy to grow.

Working across its geographical economic area of western Surrey and the majority of Hampshire; Enterprise M3 makes strategic economic investments in transport, innovation, skills and enterprise. The new partnership with Business South will enable the involvement and engagement with companies to ensure that actions are focussed in direct response to business needs.

Business South has been a facilitator of business support initiatives in the Central South region for over a decade. The organisation is situated at the heart of the business community with established and reputable channels to engage directly with local businesses. These specialisms will be used to garner business intelligence and help shape economic strategy in the Enterprise M3 area.

Kathy Slack, Chief Executive of Enterprise M3 said:

“I am delighted by the formation of our innovative partnership between EM3 and Business South in what are undoubtedly the most challenging economic circumstances any of us will have experienced.

EM3 has a proud history of collaboration and I know our shared experience will be invaluable to ensuring the region’s economy remains resilient. Innovation is critical for any organisation during a national crisis and I hope novel concepts like this may prove beneficial to us and many others in the difficult few months ahead.

In times of economic uncertainty, partnerships such as ours play a crucial role in uniting leaders in both business and government to form successful economic strategy in key areas. I look forward to seeing this in action at the many online events and action group meetings in the weeks to come.”

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, Group Chief Executive at Business South said:

“At a time where we are all navigating our businesses and organisations through unprecedented uncertainty, partnerships like this have never been more prudent.

Business South is continuing to support our regional businesses, to unite stakeholders for mutual benefit and to champion our region, providing a platform where businesses have a collaborative voice.

Our partnership with Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership will play a pivotal role in this, we will be helping the LEP to shape plans, lobby and raise awareness where businesses need it the most. Ensuring that local businesses are connected and heard regionally and nationally, and that we are all working together towards positive change.”

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