Downing Street welcomes mobility retailer

At the end of November 2017, People First Mobility’s Managing Director Karen Sheppard visited 10 Downing Street as part of the Small Business Saturday campaign.

The campaign, celebrating its fifth anniversary, is a nationwide initiative aiming to support, inspire and promote the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses.

100 small businesses were selected for the Small Biz 100, receiving the honour to visit a reception held in Downing Street, with People First Mobility being amongst the selected companies.

Karen told THIIS: "We were asked to keep it a secret until the day, which is hard when you want to tell everyone where you are going!

"I travelled to London on the day and after checking in to the hotel, I asked to book a taxi. When they rang and asked where I was going, I told them No. 10 Downing Street.

"The girl on reception looked at me, repeated the destination to the taxi driver and then passed the phone to me saying he wished to have a word. He wanted to triple check I was asking to go to the Prime Minister’s residence; I am not sure he believed me!”

Once arriving and being permitted through security, Karen and the rest of the Small Biz 100 were given an exclusive tour of the famous building which has been home to British Prime Ministers since 1735.

At the reception, small business owners were welcomed by Stephen Barclay MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, Claire Perry MP, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Caroline Nokes MP, Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency.

Michelle Ovens MBE, Director, Small Business Saturday, said: "Small Business Saturday shines a spotlight on our local businesses to show how vitally important they are to individual communities and the UK as a whole. We are encouraging everyone to support the small businesses near them this Saturday, by shopping local, and also giving them their backing into 2018 and beyond.”

Stephen Barclay MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, commented: "It’s great to welcome so many business owners to Number 10 to show our appreciation for the crucial contribution they make to Britain. Small businesses are vital to a thriving and competitive economy that is fit for the future, so it’s great to see that the number of small businesses in the UK has been growing in recent years. We hope the country will join us in championing the UK’s small businesses and support them this Saturday.”

The UK’s small businesses made £717 million on Small Business Saturday in 2016, which was a 15 percent rise on the previous year according to research by the principal supporter, American Express.

Karen finished: "This was an amazing opportunity to be invited to go inside Downing Street and a memory that I will treasure forever. It goes to show with hard work, commitment, determination and perseverance, you can become successful.”

To find out more about People First Mobility, visit the website HERE