The growth of small business


Recognition has more than 70 clients of different sizes and in different sectors. Every week I’m out and about around the UK visiting them and checking that my team is performing well! I also get a real feel for how the UK economy is performing because I get to hear about their experiences. One client I visited this week is an inspirational success story. It is owned by Paul Ruddick and was started just before the downturn. It is called D-Line and it sells cable trunking that is used to hide untidy cables that trail behind TVs, DVD players and home cinemas. The materials are made in the UK and branded, packaged and dispatched from D-Line’s business premises in Seaton Delaval in North Tyneside.


Paul is passionate about this product and he works day and night to sell it. The results of his commitment are extraordinary. In the last two years he has been listed in B&Q, turnover has doubled, sustainable profits have emerged and he is now exporting to the USA, South Africa and Australia, among more than a dozen other foreign markets. It’s still a small business turning over around £2.5 million but he now plans to double turnover again and has invested in more of Recognition’s services to help promote his product.


Paul is an entrepreneur who personifies the best about Britain’s determination to get on with business during the recent five years. His product is useful, contemporary (the growth of flat screen TVs hasn’t stopped during the downturn) and easy to use.


This week the politicians will debate how to spend the Government’s tax revenue. As you consider the rights and wrongs of each side, spare a thought for Paul. It is through his enterprise and hard work – and thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs like him – that the Government has any money at all. In the end the source of all tax revenue for the Government comes from private business. Pennies from heaven have to be earned here on earth and it is the likes of Paul Ruddick who are providing the growth the UK needs. He employs people, he works all the hours God sends and he pays taxes on the profits he makes. For me, people like Paul are the great heroes of 21st Century Britain.

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