The Beauty Zone is one of a number of new businesses springing up in Llanelli and bucking the trend.
While retail giants like Maplin, Toys R Us and many more go to the wall, sole traders like Karen Price are breathing life back into the town.
It isn’t easy as any new business will testify. The cost of renting premises alone are astronomical even though we are not in London.
There has been an easement on business rates and that helps.
Parking is an issue and there is no doubt as we have seen from days when parking is free in the town, the crowds arrive.
What is so different about people like Karen Price and her new business ‘The Beauty Zone’ is that all the money spent there stays in the local community.
Large corporations with offshore bank accounts can afford to do what they like and often get whatever they like. Free parking is a case in question. How many people would turn away from Parc Trostre if the council had implemented a pay and display so the community got some money back?
There appears to be an enormous chasm between how small business are treated and how these corporations who are going to the wall are treated. And when they go they leave a lot of people out of pocket trying to get to the front of the queue to recover their money. They are experts in the field of masking how their businesses are structured. No court in the land will be able to recover your money from these anonymous owners. The odds are simply stacked in their favour.
There is no such doubt or underhandedness with the small business who more often than not will leave themselves without to pay the bills.
What can be done for businesses like Karen’s?
We can all start by supporting them. We can all choose to use the small business or go to give our hard earned cash to offshore companies whose employees are often on minimum wages or zero hours contracts while the fat cats skim off the cream. That is the reality.
We hear so much from our local councils about fair trade for farmers in far flung areas of the world. The question we should all be asking is ‘What about our own workforce’?
From the moment you walk in to the Beauty Zone you can sense the amount of hard work, which has gone in to establishing the business. You get Karen, smartly dressed, a font of knowledge on the beauty industry. One to one attention. professional testing and a great choice of services and products.
It is a far cry from the anonymous, bland and can’t be bothered approach one finds in a lot of big stores these days.
If Carmarthenshire County Council are serious about regenerating the town then they need to bring the small businesses along with them. They could offer tokens so that anyone parking and using one of the local businesses can get free parking. They could do more to link up schools and colleges to provide help in training and staffing. They could invest in pollution absorbing plants along the business fronts, shop front make overs following a theme. It isn’t rocket science and it is already being done in some of the most successful towns in the U.K.
We can all help by supporting local businesses. All it takes is a change in direction. Set your sat nav for Llanelli Town Centre and give it a try. The alternative is a town full of industrial sheds selling much of the same thing imported from China.
You can visit Karen’s website for the Beauty Zone here