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 we furnished them with support, including a £5000 start-up grant and 80% off their business rates during their 1st year of trading, followed by 50% off in year 2 and 30% off in year 3.
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 £1000 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.
'We extended our business rates sale and start up grant to Heywood and Middleton town centres, because of its huge success in Rochdale'
Councillor John Blundell, our cabinet member for regeneration, business, skills and employment, 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."