The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Chamber Blog: A Tale of Two Cities


By Chris Fletcher, Policy and Communications Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Anyone with an interest in how cities “re-invent” themselves invariably turn to Manchester as a great example of how a city that was at the forefront of industry went through a steep decline, and then not only managed to return to previous levels of economic prowess, but actually surpassed what went before.

As compelling as our story is in this part of the world, and it really is, there are other examples from around the world, some even more dramatic than Manchester’s story.

Later this month we’ll be hosting a delegation from Pittsburgh as a pre-curser to a much stronger relationship with a City Region that has a great tale to tell of over-reliance on one sector, that faced a sharp decline, record unemployment rates and its re-engineering to put it at the forefront of new industries.

We’ve put a briefing paper on Pittsburgh on our website here: http://www.gmchamber.co.uk/stories/thirty-years-in-the-making-pittsburgh-re-made. It’s been written by Philip Cynar from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and sets the scene of what was one of the major industrial cities and its journey to one of America’s economic and intellectual powerhouses.

When you have your head down it’s very easy to become a bit insular and become very inward facing. Reading the story of Pittsburgh I was struck by the similarities between the two cities both in what they have experienced but the attitude of local business and local authorities to put things right. Never an easy task or a comfortable journey but a necessary one if you want to succeed.

I’m really looking forward to meeting the delegation from Pittsburgh and we have two events organised so that we can really spread the word about looking further afield for new business opportunities.

We have a reception on the evening of 24th September and a round table event on the following morning – further details can be found for the reception at http://www.gmchamber.co.uk/events/685 and for the business breakfast at http://www.gmchamber.co.uk/events/686 .

We are working in conjunction with colleagues at UKTI because whilst there’s a great story to tell there’s also some great business to be done too.





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