‘Leighton Buzzard’s small businesses are committed to the community’

FSB Bedfordshire branch leader Charlie Smith and  the national FSB chairman Mike Cherry at Pecks Farm Shop
FSB Bedfordshire branch leader Charlie Smith and the national FSB chairman Mike Cherry at Pecks Farm Shop

A visit to Leighton Buzzard by the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses has been hailed a great success by local FSB members.

Mike Cherry visited five businesses in the Leighton Buzzard area, where he discussed improved infrastructure and better public transport in the town, before meeting other FSB members including Sign of the Times in Tebworth, Pecks Farm Shop in Eggington, Fogarty Formal Hire and Total VAG Limited in central Leighton Buzzard and The Hare in Southcott Village.

At The Hare, Mr Cherry met six other small business owners in the area for an informal meeting. During the visit on September 18, he also met local resident and salon owner Gennaro Borelli, an active FSB member who has put together a local retail group to ensure Leighton Buzzard’s small business community benefit from the planned growth of the town.

Led by Mr Borelli, the group is made up of local FSB members who meet regularly to decide how best to promote the high street, and keep it thriving.

Mr Cherry said: “It was great to meet local members in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding villages. I can see that this is a great part of the world for thriving independent businesses who never fail to amaze me over their commitment to the community they serve.

“It was great to find out about the histories of these businesses and how they have kept going, even through the toughest of times. They contribute so much to the economy and social fabric of the town, employing local people, providing great customer service and supporting other local businesses.”

Mr Borrelli said: “Mike was very interested in the work we are doing here to protect our local business community including ensuring that the Christmas Festival that we put on in December remains a three day festival and includes Small Business Saturday on 1 December.”