By Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber CEO

The curtain comes down on my time leading the magnificent Shropshire Chamber of Commerce today – and what a journey it has been.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have worked with a truly wonderful group of people who have supported me over the past 15 and a half years, and look back with pride that I have been privileged to serve the business community.

There have been relentless challenges throughout the years, from the credit crunch and recessions to Brexit, the pandemic, the cost of living and energy crisis. But through it all, the Chamber has always been there supporting members when they need us most.

Never before has the sense of community and connectivity been more important than it is today. The business community in this county is resilient, determined and innovative, and never fails to surprise and delight.

It has been an honour to have worked with so many of you. I am truly grateful for your wisdom and friendship.

I know that the Chamber will be in good hands as Ruth Ross steps up from the role of my deputy into the chief executive’s position. Like me, she fully recognises the importance of the role which a thriving Chamber can play in our business community.

The foundations of the organisation are solid, and its commitment to supporting economic and employment opportunities remains unwavering.

We have an ambitious strategy in place to double the membership base, which will not only provide new and dynamic business networking contacts for members and stakeholders, but also give us a much more powerful lobbying voice in the corridors of power.

And with the fantastic team we have built, I know it’s something we can deliver.

If you’ve not already entered the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards (and why wouldn’t you, it’s free!), I’d urge you to do so before the April 14 closing date. It’s the biggest showcase of business in the county, and a wonderful platform to celebrate excellence.

We’re delighted to be welcoming the host of hit TV show The Repair Shop, Jay Blades MBE, as guest speaker this year. All the details can be found at

Yes, the future is going to come with challenges, but working together always makes us stronger. And let’s never be afraid to share wisdom, support local companies, and shout about our success.