Businesses positive despte pressure

PUBLISHED: 10:55 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 10 June 2010

MOST people have been affected by the current state of the economic climate - and not many businesses have escaped the wrath of the recession.

MOST people have been affected by the current state of the economic climate - and not many businesses have escaped the wrath of the recession.But, in a week when it was revealed unemployment figures in Devon had risen by more than 100 per cent in the last year, business owners from Topsham remain positive.A number of people believe commerce in the area is comparatively positive.Vicki May, lettings manager at Wilkinson Grant and Co, on Fore Street, said the estate agents were enjoying a successful period at the moment."We have been really busy. Everything that comes in where lettings are concerned is going out almost straight away. "I can't get enough properties on our lists for the number of applicants that are looking for them," she explained. But, Jim Kingston, who runs Topsham Wines, on High Street, said he was losing £1,500 in turnover from sales of small wines."The things we are selling now are quite different compared to pre-recession. Collectively we are making a (financial) loss. "Last December it was the busiest time we have ever had for that month, while before it we expected the worst. The months around it were appalling. "We always have a poor January, but this time around was particularly bad." Jim, 44, said that full time staff hours may have to be cut if business did not start to pick up.He added: "I also have two part-time employees who will not to be working for me in the summer if things do not improve."Paul Cummings, 42, owner of Topsham News, on High Street, said quite a few shops had closed in the town in the last year: "People are still buying their newspapers and pints of milk. Sales are probably the same although our margins are down.We've tried to keep offers going on products as an incentive to people to keep them coming in."Because the interest rates have gone down it has cushioned the blow.


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