Historic lobby group Birmingham Chamber of Commerce is to alter its name to reflect political changes in the region.
The 200-year-old chamber will be known as Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) from October 1.
Chief executive Jerry Blackett said: “We have decided on this move because we feel the new name reflects better the area the chamber serves – and we wish to make it clear that the support is for all.
“It is vital that the chamber is open for all because the wellbeing of the region depends on all businesses thriving and that they know they can come to us for help in many areas.
“We want every business person in the Greater Birmingham area and their employees to know that the GBCC are here to help.
“Our change in name underlines our belief in promoting regional co-operation. There have already been some moves in that direction with calls from Birmingham City Council for greater co-operation between the component parts of the West Midlands, especially on transport issues.
“Messages from this extended area delivered with one voice carry so much more weight in Whitehall and we believe there is everything to gain from closer working relationships.”
Mr Blackett said the business geography of the region had changed with the creation of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
He added: “Increasingly, city regions are becoming more important and it is vital that surrounding areas feel included. Birmingham Chamber now embraces Solihull, Burton, Cannock, Lichfield and Chase, who combine to make Greater Birmingham the most significant economic powerhouse outside of London. The new name underlines that we are more than one Chamber.”
• Meanwhile, the chamber’s latest quarterly survey shows confidence among manufacturers in Greater Birmingham is higher than at any time since the financial crisis kicked in six years ago.
Indications that the economy is on an upwards trend were confirmed when nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of the firms surveyed by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group (BCCG) said they were confident turnover would improve over the next 12 months.
This is the highest number since the 83 per cent recorded in the second quarter 2007, and up from 59 per cent year-on-year.
Birmingham Chamber president Steve Brittan said: “The increase in confidence demonstrates the resilience and determination of Greater Birmingham to tough out the financial crisis. With the Autumn Statement fast approaching, however, we would encourage the government to restate its commitment to infrastructure development and capital spending.
“The QES figures for this quarter help confirm the belief that the economy is on the turn, albeit from a very low ebb. Infrastructure projects such as HS2 can provide both the initial construction stimulus as well as new business opportunities through better connectivity.”
The survey found that 52 per cent of manufacturers said sales had increased – up from 40 per cent a year ago – while 43 per cent said orders were up.