MP talks business with family who saved Regal

Cotswold Journal: BUSINESS HELP: Peter Luff. BUSINESS HELP: Peter Luff.

AS part of the Small Business Saturday campaign last weekend, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) invited Peter Luff MP to join two of the FSB’s newest members – Ian Wiper and his son Laurence of the Regal Cinema.

Ian, his wife Sue and Laurence have revived the longneglected art-deco cinema and turned it into one of the region’s most popular destinations for the arts.

They now employ 40 people and have invested their futures in making their family run cinema “the place to be seen”.

Ken Wigfield, FSB’s regional vice-chairman, opened the meeting, which took place just days after the Chancellor’s autumn statement, by raising the all-important issue of employment.

Mr Wiper senior said: “The news that small businesses will get much needed financial assistance through the reduction of national insurance contributions is good for smaller employers and will make a big difference to the number of people I am able to employ.

“Overall, I think, the autumn statement supported small businesses in employment and expansion.”

On tourism, the younger Mr Wiper brought to Mr Luff’s attention the importance of brown road signs to local tourist destinations.

In response, Mr Luff said: “Brown signs play an enormous part in tourism and, unfortunately, Evesham is not well served with them at present.

“This type of signage, would undoubtedly raise the town’s profile and increase the tourist footfall.”

Speaking of the Government, Mr Luff said: “We’re gradually beginning to understand what makes a small business tick.

“The FSB has played a significant role in providing a ‘single voice’ of small businesses which is increasingly heard and understood by Government.”

As the meeting drew to a close, Mr Wigfield said: “It’s important that we understand that Small Business Saturday is not just about one day.

“Local businesses need local people to use them regularly if they are to remain open, continue to employ local people and keep our towns the vital and vibrant honey pots for employment, entertainment, retailing, relaxation and much more.”


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