Businesses join the fightback

INDEPENDENT businesses in Ipswich have today joined the fightback and promised to stand up to the financial crisis.The Evening Star visited five courageous companies resisting the recession by continuing to thrive while others give way and fall victim to the downturn.

INDEPENDENT businesses in Ipswich have today joined the fightback and promised to stand up to the financial crisis.

The Evening Star visited five courageous companies resisting the recession by continuing to thrive while others give way and fall victim to the downturn.

Gary Staff, of Ipswich Kickboxing Academy, in Turret Lane, is going toe-to-toe with the catastrophic cash crisis in the hope of delivering a knock out blow to gloomy fiscal forecasters.

Mr Staff said: “I started the business five months ago and business has slowed in that time but we're doing all we can to keep it steady.


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“We go out to six schools in the area to teach boxing under the Sport England brand and we offer classes here to anyone from five-year-olds to adults.”

Umit Toy is looking forward to a flavourful future for his Olde English Sweet Shop, in St Nicholas Street. He said: “Business is steady and I still have lots of regular customers who all know me by name but obviously it's not what it used to be four or five years ago.

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“I'm keeping my head above water and being careful but I understand everyone is struggling.”

Matthew Fitzgerald has run Arnie's Sarnies in St Nicholas Street for the last 15 years. He said: “Things are going all right. We're no quieter or busier than this time last year.

“We're still here because we offer customers exactly what they want - fresh, made to order food.”

Just up the road, Diane Allan runs the familiar Ajax domestic spares store with husband Graham and son Gary. She said: “Business is up and down but we have noticed a real increase in repair jobs, with people choosing to get things fixed rather than throw them away.

“Here they can get anything from kettles to washing machines and vacuum cleaners but most importantly they can get good advice. Service is our top priority.”

Shwan Hawrami is in charge of Ray's caf�, in Silent Street. He said: “We recently did some refurbishment to make the place more comfortable but it is hard to recoup the money we spent.

“We will keep offering people competitively priced homemade food prepared by an excellent chef in our kitchen.

“At the moment we're trying to give people something different by promoting low fat meals once a week.”

Join the fightback and tell us your recession-busting business story. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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