BUSINESS is booming at South Elmsall market where two traders have expanded their empires.
A start-up scheme with Wakefield Council has allowed fashion and angling stores to be opened on the Barnsley Road site.
John Finan has developed his Scene Fashions women’s clothes franchise from an outdoor stall into a shop at the market.
His move was made possible by a scheme with the council to expand and diversify business at the district’s markets by offering discounts on trading rents and business advice.
Mr Finan, who opened the shop last week, said: “Given the current economic climate, the scheme is a great way for traders to develop their business and also to help markets become more economically viable.
“Moving from an outdoor stall to a shop unit involves fit-out costs and the package of discounts that the council is offering makes it a feasible option for traders looking to expand.”
Another businessman who has benefited from the pilot of the start-up scheme, which was launched three weeks ago, is former locksmith Bill Short.
Mr Short set up an angling stall called Gone Fishin’ after he was made redundant earlier this year.
He said: “When I was laid off I really needed to find another source of income quickly.
“I’ve always been a keen angler so I thought I’d set up a business selling angling tackle and accessories as there wasn’t anything like that on the market.
“The council’s business start-up scheme is fantastic. There are a lot of expenses when you set up a business and the rent free and discounted rent periods give me breathing space to buy and pay for stock for the stall.
“They also help you with business advisors who can take a look at your plan and advise you on the best way to make your business work.”
Coun David Dagger, cabinet member with responsibility for markets, hoped the scheme would bring jobs to the area.
He said: “I am really pleased to welcome another new business to South Elmsall.
“Since its launch the start-up scheme has been really well received and we have had a lot of interest from potential traders.
“It is one of many ways that the council is working to improve the local economy and employment opportunities and to raise the profile of our markets.”
Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “This is an excellent start to the new business start-up scheme and I wish them every success in their ventures.
“One of the most exciting things about the scheme is that it is open to existing traders as well as new ones and gives people opportunities they might otherwise not have had.”
For more information about Wakefield district markets visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/markets.