A partnership bid has been submitted by three councils to replace the role of Advantage West Midlands regional development agency (RDA).
The government announced in June that RDAs would be shut down to save money. It wants the work to be taken on by new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).
Councils and businesses have until 6 September to apply to become LEPs.
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Council said it had already submitted its application.
If approved the partnership would be eligible for a share of £1bn funding to promote economic growth throughout the country.
In a joint statement, the leaders of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils, Keith Barrow and Andrew Eade, said: "We know our local economy better than others do and understand what will drive speedy recovery.
"This is an exciting development, which will create jobs and help local businesses thrive, despite the tough financial times we're living in."
Geoffrey Davies, chairman of Shropshire Business Board, said: "Businesses are keen to play a leading role in the new partnership.
"This is an opportunity to apply well proven business experience to the needs of an area where there is a great deal of talent still to harness.
"From the word go, the intention is to tackle priorities and create an effective decision-making body."