THE body that represents businesses in Ludlow and south Shropshire has strengthened its team for the New Year.

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has appointed Josh Carpenter as a new policy officer.

The Chamber of Commerce is made up of businesses of all types and sizes in the county.

Mr Carpenter is a former student of Adams’ Grammar School in Newport, and Madeley Academy in Telford.

He has previously worked in the invoice finance and central finance departments at Lloyds Banking Group, and has a BA in Political Science and International Relations.

“I am delighted to be joining Shropshire Chamber,” he said. “Every member knows the value that the Chamber adds to their business, and assisting such a fantastic team in delivering that value is something I’m passionate about.

“2020 was a bizarre year to say the least, but in my new role I am keen to get to grips with the challenges 2021 may pose.”

In addition to his time at Lloyds Banking Group, Mr Carpenter has also previously worked with the Envision charity in Birmingham, coaching underprivileged students with business skills.

He also has a level one Mandarin language proficiency grade, achieved at East China Normal University.

Mr Carpenter takes over the policy officer role from Fergus Hamilton Collard, who has returned to university to study a postgraduate degree in International Political Economy.

“We are delighted to welcome Josh to this pivotal role,” said Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s director of business.

“It’s our objective to ensure that the voice of all businesses, whatever their size, are heard when councils and government agencies are formulating policy or consulting the business community.

“Our activity ensures Shropshire businesses are represented in policy decisions at all levels of government.

“We formulate our policies on the back of extensive engagement with members, through lobbying and consultations, Chamber forums, and our quarterly economic survey which feeds directly into UK-wide data.”

Issues that the Chamber of Commerce has been dealing with include advising on the support given by central Government to businesses and they help businesses to get through the coronavirus pandemic that has caused so many problems and led to workers losing their jobs and being placed on furlough during 2020.