Allan escapes the daily grind

16 Sep 2016

Featured Startup

Allan Davidge from St Helens has taken the step many people dream about, having quit his job to open up a skate shop with support from St Helens Chamber.

Having skated for 16 years, Allan decided to follow his passion for skateboarding after being in and out of a number of jobs.

Allan approached St Helens Chamber with his business idea and received business start-up support from a business start up adviser, including one-to-one business coaching and advice.

Allan commented: “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy setting up my own business but the help and support from St Helens Chamber has been brilliant from start to finish.

“My Start-Up Adviser Stella helped me with business planning and cash flow, finding a shop location and a loan application.”

Based in Barrow Arcade in St Helens, the shop has seen a steady flow of custom since opening in November 2015.

“I think we’re doing well as we’re the only skate shop in St Helens and it’s a niche market. It doesn’t seem to matter that our premises are not directly on the main high street as when people want our stuff they will walk to find us.”

“We haven’t spent loads of money on marketing the shop – it’s just word of mouth. We get customers coming from Liverpool as they’ve heard about us from people they know.”

Going forward Allan is looking to grow the shop’s online presence with a website and an online store.

In the longer term Allan’s ambition is to open an indoor skate park that will provide a safe venue for both young and older people to learn how to skateboard, understand the fitness benefits and provide a meeting place after school and in the holidays.

Allan said: “I don’t think the shop would be up and running as successfully as it is without the support I received from St Helens Chamber.

“I am still fully supported by the Chamber now that the shop is up and running. The team is there to advise you at any stage.

“I would highly recommend St Helens Chamber for help with starting a business – it paid off for me!”

Adrian Ellis, Business Start-up Manager at St Helens Chamber, said: “Our business start-up service offers free, impartial advice and support to people thinking of starting a business.

“Our team of experienced business advisers are working with an incredibly diverse range of new ventures across St Helens and Merseyside, which is very encouraging for the local economy.”