Two highly experienced business professionals have been recruited to key countywide roles aimed at helping Suffolk businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), meet the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit.
Earlier in the year, the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL) group, which brings together leaders in the public sector, decided to pool money from the Government to assist companies to better prepare for the time when the UK leaves the European Union to create a joint fund – and grant some of that fund to Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to create these Brexit Business Adviser roles.
These Suffolk Chamber-managed posts have now been filled with two of the county’s most experienced consultants.
Michael Chapman has held a number of key advisory roles, including as a senior policy expert at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where he had responsibility for financial consumer protection issues, and as the owner of a consultancy specialising in local economic development and social inclusion.
Prior to his current Brexit business advisor role, Michael worked within the Economic Development Office at the city of London as International Regulation Manager.
Koyas Miah has more than a decade’s track record as a successful financial adviser, working for both Santander and for the last eight years as a Barclays business adviser based in the bank’s main Ipswich office.
Here, he was responsible for managing a portfolio of business clients with an annual sales turnover of between £400k and £1m covering Suffolk’s county town and the surrounding areas. He has a specialist knowledge of commercial lending, finance, business development and digital transformation.
John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber’s chief executive, said: “Koyas and Michael are a powerful team. They have the experience, skills and contacts to have both an immediate and long-term beneficial impact in helping local businesses during the remaining phases of the Brexit process.
“Their role is to ensure that Suffolk’s SMEs in particular get the right advice and put in place the right actions for them to avoid any confusion and take maximum advantage of the new opportunities associated with Brexit, including the possibility of a so-called no deal exit from the EU.
“Indeed, by using intelligence gathered from a recent Suffolk Chamber survey, our two Brexit Business Advisers have a clear idea of the immediate requirements of many local businesses and so they are already up and running and helping these and other firms.”
Cllr. Matthew Hicks, chair of the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders said: “Suffolk has world class businesses and talent, especially amongst our SMEs, so we are delighted that Koyas and Michael are in place to support them before, during and after the Brexit process.
“Our county stands ready and is uniquely placed to support the UK as the Brexit process continues and it is key that our local businesses are given the best support possible in any event”.
To contact Koyas and Michael, Suffolk Chamber has set up a Brexit business hotline: (01473) 694803. Alternatively, they can be contacted via their respective emails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com