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VIP Karren gives town business boost

Apprentice star Karren Brady tours small businesses in Frodsham

Karren Brady of The Apprentice with MP Graham Evans and cake studio supervisor from Devonshire Bakery Rebecca Mitchell, discussing their creations(Image: Rob Stratford)

The first lady of football and business visited several of Frodsham’s enterprises to give advice in her role as Small Business Ambassador to the Government.

Star of BBC TV’s The Apprentice and vice-chairman of West Ham United Karren Brady toured the Gift Shop on the Corner, Devonshire Bakery, Les Harris Jewellers, Cowards and Rowlinsons Solicitors after being invited to the town by Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans.

Karren – who was appointed as the Government’s Small Business Ambassador by David Cameron in September last year – praised the role small business owners have in the community.

 

“One of the really important things for me and my role is to raise the profile of small business owners,” she said.

“I think a lot of people have lost a bit of trust with the big businesses and the banks.

“Generally the atmosphere towards big business owners is not as good as it could be. But with small business owners, I think it’s not only the personal service but the work they do in the community, the life they dedicate, the hours they put in, the way they miss their families.”

MP Graham Evans said he hoped Karren’s visit demonstrated that the Government supports small businesses and inspired others launch their own ventures.

“Small businesses are the life blood of Weaver Vale’s local economy and it is great to be able to show Karren the variety of successful businesses in Cheshire,” he said.

Mayor of Frodsham Sara Wakefield, who was tasked with selecting businesses for Karren to visit, said showing her around was ‘a pleasure’.

“In Frodsham we are certainly not short of choice, having so many businesses, and I wish I could have taken Karren to visit everyone.

“She was very interested in all of the businesses that were able to visit and answered a lot of questions and gave helpful advice where requested. “Frodsham is a friendly place so we made her feel very welcome.”

Andrew Graves, managing director of Rownlinsons - one of the lucky businesses graced by Karren’s presence - said: “To have such an inspirational business woman visit our firm and other businesses in the town was an honour and means a great deal. It's an acknowledgement that we are doing something right.

“Small businesses here and across the country are innovating and growing and it was a real benefit to talk to her about how businesses like Rowlinsons can flourish.

“I hope Karren looks back on her visit and recalls Frodsham's business community as a forward thinking, successful one.”

Niki Kenny, of Les Harris Jewellers, described the experience of meeting Karren as a ‘real honour’ and used the opportunity to find out what help is available for established businesses like hers.

She said: “It was very exciting.

“I made the point of asking some questions about how the Government can help small businesses while she was here and she was happy to answer them.

“She suggested the Government’s mentoring service would help us with our marketing so I will definitely do that.

“I think a lot of the help is for new businesses and start-ups and more established businesses, like ours, don’t know so much about what support is out there.

“I think they are on the right path and it is nice that the Government is picking smaller businesses as a route of the recession.”

A trailblazer for women in business, Karren Brady became managing director of Birmingham City Football Club at the age of 23 and sold it for £82m in 2009, before going on to become Lord Alan Sugar’s right-hand woman in The Apprentice .

As one of the business mogul’s two aides, Karren shares her business prowess with the fledgling businessmen and women fighting it out to become Lord Sugar’s latest apprentice.

 

 

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