Image: Sitting pretty: new furniture store opens with council help

Sitting pretty: new furniture store opens with council help

Posted by Aahmed on 15 Jun 2018 at 11:13

It’s so-fa so good for the new Heywood furniture business, Simpson Furniture, which has just opened its doors at Church Place.

Owners, Karen and Gary Simpson chose Rochdale after the council furnished them with support, including a £5,000 start-up grant and 80 per cent off their business rates during their first year of trading, followed by 50 per cent off in year two and 30 per cent off in year three.

Karen, who also runs a furniture business on Bury and Heywood Markets, said: “The cost of running a business is so high, I don’t think we’d have opened the shop if we didn’t have the financial cushion that the council support gave us. My rates bill would have been about £1,000 a month without the grant and that’s a lot to pay up front when you’re trying to establish yourself in a new location and need to build up a new customer base.

“We’ve traded successfully on Bury and Heywood market, so this has given us a great opportunity to expand into a shop unit. We will take on a few new members of staff in the next few months and, if it all goes well, will probably need to employ more further down the line. “

The company sells a variety of items, including rise recliners, Italian leather sofas and mobility beds, and Karen is hoping to branch out into home accessories once they’re established at their new base.
The couple have invested heavily in their shop, which was empty before, with new windows, tiles and a reconfigured display area, as well as a new entrance.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We extended our business rates sale and start up grant to Heywood and Middleton town centres, because of its huge success in Rochdale, where it has helped bring 24 new independent businesses since it was launched.

“It’s great to see another business expand and create new jobs and I’m sure that Simpson Furniture will be a great addition to Heywood’s high street.”

Businesses which would like to find out about grants and support available can visit: rochdale.gov.uk/smallbizhelp

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