BUSINESS is booming for companies based in rural Cheshire, bringing fresh hope of a recovery from the recession.

The county’s business awards, organised by Chronicle publisher Trinity Mirror Cheshire, were awash with winners based in the countryside – a welcome boost to rural enterprise.

It comes after figures revealed last week that the number of unemployed in Eddisbury had doubled in two years.

Winners at the showcase event, at Chester’s Queen Hotel, included Tattenhall-based Global Air Training (Small Business of the Year) and Cheshire Farm Ice Cream (Medium Business) also of Tattenhall.

Claire Braithwaite, who set up natural and organic make-up website in 2006, scooped the Women in Business award after the rise of her company, in Barrow.

She believes being based in the countryside has many benefits.

She said: “I look out over fields and see animals so we’re definitely rural.

“There is definitely an increase in business owners being attracted to rural locations.

“It can provide a life and work balance as those working in towns and the big city can face the daily grind of getting to work.

“People are also open to making sacrifices in their lives for their careers and deciding to go out there and doing it on their own.”

Ms Braithwaite’s website, based at the Barrowmore Enterprise Estate, attracts one million visitors a week and consequently staff are inundated with orders.

Seven staff are employed locally and there are plans to expand the business.

Shortlisted for our Business Awards were Sparkling Strawberry, of Tarporley, which sells costumes and fancy dress, Christopher Naylor of Peckforton Castle and Jan Williams of Frodsham Laser Clinic.

Trinity Mirror Cheshire publishing director Carl Wood said: “We have seen numerous examples of new businesses being created in towns and villages right across Cheshire and seen previous small business entrants now moving into the medium business category”.