Birmingham business leaders have called for the Chancellor to give Midland firms the same support as those in the Northern Powerhouse in next week's Budget.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said George Osborne should set up a Midlands Engine Inward Investment Hub to fund major transport and capital projects - as he has for his pet project further north.
It is part of a wider pre-Budget wish list calling for fundamental reform of "confusing and excessive" business rates.
Chief executive Paul Faulkner said the Midlands would benefit from the same level of widespread support as the so-called Northern Powerhouse.
He said: "The Northern Powerhouse has been dominating government rhetoric and attention over the past year.
"This Budget we would like to see the Midlands Engine gain the traction and support it deserves.
"Key items we would like to see are: funding for a Midlands Engine Inward Investment Hub - mirroring that already available for the Northern Powerhouse - funding for major transport and capital projects and funding for a Midlands Engine Visitor Economy Strategy."
The Post previously revealed James Wharton, a minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government whose responsibilities include the Northern Powerhouse, said projects in the north stood a better chance of government support as any other region.
That was followed by widespread anger across the Midlands when the Chancellor personally intervened to prevent the Chinese President coming to Birmingham in a high-profile visit linked to major trade deals - sending him to Manchester instead.
Elsewhere, Mr Faulkner called for a major shake-up of the business rates regime, in addition to a moratorium on new business taxes and a halt to the 'merry go round' of funding for business support schemes.
Mr Faulkner said: "The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce believes that business rates are too high, too confusing and in need of fundamental reform.
"The Government recently predicted that councils will collect a record £23.5 billion in business rates next year. This is far too high for an input tax. The Government's review of business rates is due to report back at this budget."
Mr Faulkner called for a four-pronged reform of the current system, including:
* A light-touch annual revaluation regime, to stop businesses being hit hard by an increase every five years
* The removal of plant and machinery, and micro-generation, from the ratings system, which discourages businesses from investing in their premises
* The permanent abolition of the annual uplift multiplier, which doesn't take into account the performance of businesses
* The publication of a business taxation review with forward plans for implementing a new regime with a reducing share of business rates revenue as a proportion of overall business taxation