Businesses in our region are taking on the burden of economic recovery (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Businesses in our region are taking on the burden of economic recovery
2:31pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Westmorland Gazette Comment
AS GOVERNMENTS run out of steam - and cash - in the face of the world’s financial woes, private businesses are being increasingly expected to take on more of the burden of economic recovery.
Throughout Cumbria, north Lancashire and the Dales there are hundreds of enterprises doing just that. Despite the ongoing difficulties, their owners and managers work hard to develop their businesses or to simply stay afloat and help keep people employed and the wheels of the local economy turning.
Farmers and associated food producers, craft enterprises and tourism businesses all contribute to our predominantly rural area’s prosperity, but not exclusively so.
Traditional manufacturing companies are among the biggest employers, particularly in Furness, and the whole region would be much the poorer without them.
All these enterprises deserve to be celebrated and applauded - and that is what The Westmorland Gazette Business and Tourism Awards 2012, launched today, will do for the third year running.
The inaugural awards in 2010 were endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron and last year by the Business Secretary Vince Cable. Both have pinned their hopes for Britain’s economic future on the growth in the private sector and they were particularly pleased to see The Westmorland Gazette doing its bit in support of an enterprise-led recovery.
The Gazette’s awards cover all sectors of the area’s economy - from traditional businesses to the most innovative and forward-thinking enterprises. Last year, both the Innovation and Technology Award and the Business of the Year Award were won by Ulverston-based Marl, an energy efficient lighting specialst employing 120 people. But much smaller firms and organisations also shone, like the Glen Rothay Hotel (Green Award) and Age UK South Lakeland (Retailer of the Year).
Such businesses must certainly be doing something right judging by the latest unemployment figures, out yesterday, which show a further drop (0.4 per cent) in the number of South Lakeland people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance.
As the public sector is shedding jobs, this must be down to the private sector doing what everyone hoped it would.