Business grows from redundancy
SUDDEN redundancy after almost 30 years with a blue chip company was the spur Steve Howell needed to search for a new career horizon. Unemployment came in December, but this week he and his wife Caroline opened their new business, The Arch Plant Centre in
SUDDEN redundancy after almost 30 years with a blue chip company was the spur Steve Howell needed to search for a new career horizon.
Unemployment came in December, but this week he and his wife Caroline opened their new business, The Arch Plant Centre in Gosmore near Hitchin.
For Steve, digging for victory is something new but for his wife, who has been running Arch Gardening for the past six years, it will be an extension to her successful business.
"I just couldn't sit around and listen to the doom and gloom in the press. I believe we have heard enough of this constant doom and gloom about the economy and are fed up with it," said Steve, 45, the same age as his wife. The couple live in Devonshire Close, Stevenage.
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"I had been working for almost 30 years with a blue chip company as a customer service manager and when redundancy came it was a shock but I was determined not to sit back and be gloomy.
"I thought it was time to start out on my own and after long talks with my wife we decided to open our own nursery.
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"If you read too much about the recession and the credit crunch it gets you down. People have got to push themselves and say they will beat the recession.
"When people heard we were opening our nursery they wished us good luck. I'm certainly not worried about starting my own business. In fact I feel great and can't wait to start."
The nursery is aiming to stock between 800 and 1,000 different varieties of shrubs, bedding plants, fruit trees and vegetable plants, some of which will be grown on their one acre site.
The company has already forged a link with the horticulture department at Shuttleworth College and the Prince's Trust.
"Redundancy is always a shock but it doesn't mean to say you can't go out and be successful," added Mr Howell.
"I think everyone is fed up listening to the gloomy news about the economy so perhaps we can all make that extra effort to change things for the better.