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Trade on rise as county bucks national slump

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 21, 2013

  • Tor Amran and Lucy Jones from The Cornish Food Box Company outside their new premises at Walsingham Place, Truro.

  • Tor Amran and Lucy Jones from The Cornish Food Box Company outside their new premises at Walsingham Place, Truro. Ref:TRJJ201300917B-002_C

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CORNWALL is blazing a trail in economic recovery, according to business leaders.

Businesses across the county are reporting growth, expansion and record-breaking sales despite the long-term economic slump.

And economic experts in Cornwall expect the rise to continue as countywide positive trade is reported.

Simon Hendra, who runs Lemon Street Market in Truro and is a former president of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: "Businesses all across Cornwall are reporting growth despite the harsh economic climate. It's a positive for the county and I'm sure the growth will continue as we see more businesses open their doors.

"In Lemon Street Gallery we have had sales soar through the roof. We're not too sure why, but it has been the best in the ten years I've been here.

"There are a lot of people travelling to Cornwall and it makes sense that they would visit the county's shopping hub, Truro."

Two businesses which won a West Briton £10,000 Local Business Accelerator (LBA) campaign have now expanded into new premises.

The Cornish Foodbox Company and Da Bara Bakery will open larger bases in the next few weeks.

Lucy Jones, from the former, said: "Our planned growth is all going ahead. We're unsure why the business is growing but we hope to be in the new premises by next week. It does seem businesses are expanding across Cornwall, bucking the national downturn."

Ben Hawkins, from Da Bara, said: "I think it goes to show the LBA is working and Cornwall is on the up. We're moving into a premises three times the size of our current one. We will still be based in Grampound Road."

It is not only the retail sector where business is on the rise. Helen Mulherne, from public relations company Eventy, said she had difficulty finding a hotel for one of its clients with nearly all of the rooms in Truro and Falmouth fully booked.

She said: "We called a number of hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in order to book a room for one of our clients following an extended meeting, to find that many were fully booked.

"We know that the clients we work with in the accommodation sector are thriving, but it was fantastic to discover that other businesses in Cornwall are experiencing a busy time of it." Meanwhile, Camborne Chamber of Commerce is reporting overall town centre sales up by 10 per cent on the same period last year.

Nearly 50 per cent of businesses have seen an increase, with a further 27.5 per cent saying business remains constant.

Laurence Pavey, director of Celtic Estate Agents, believed the town centre was thriving for a reason. "Camborne is a very accessible town with both free on-street parking and low cost car parks."

About his own business he added: "We rebranded earlier this year with a new business name, website and social media strategy.

"This, coupled with increased market confidence, means that we have seen a 50 per cent increase in business in the last six months compared to last year."

The positive news follows a huge upturn in fortunes in tourism throughout the warm, dry summer.

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