STAR OPINION: The highs and lows of being in business

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Today was supposed to be a celebration of business - but it’s tempered by bad news from Forgemasters.

Survey is our biggest business supplement of the year, packed with the views of the region’s business leaders and designed to set you up for 2016.

Devolution, High Speed trains and manufacturing, plus a host of other hot topics, are in there – in this its 92nd year.

It also contains an entertaining look at youthful bosses – the Young Guns who are running companies and being successful beyond their years.

Take Adam Carnell and James Kinsella. The 28-year-olds employ 200 people at the firm they founded, aged 22, in 2009, Instantprint.

They have seen sales rise from £3.4m in 2012 to £14.4m following a merger with another company and a move to bigger premises in Manvers. It’s an incredible story from two Young Guns, who have been friends since they were 12 – and just one among 31 in Survey today. Read their tales of determination and be inspired.

But it is also our sad duty to report that one of Sheffield’s best loved and most important companies – Forgemasters – is going through tough times.

Chief executive Graham Honeyman has announced 100 redundancies at the 700-strong Brightside business, as it battles an economic storm (Page 5).

It is a devastating announcement for those affected and their families and we can only hope it doesn’t herald worse news down the line.

The company makes huge steel casting and forgings for uses in nuclear subs, power stations and oil rigs.

It is also proudly independent.

There have been rumours about its future, including the Chinese buying the business and Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems supporting it with advanced payments.

But as Mr Honeyman says of an iconic and historic Sheffield firm that works on sensitive projects for the UK defence industry: “There will always be rumours about Forgemasters.”

The reality is there is no money coming in, except from doing business, he insists.

The firm sells technology to Chinese companies, and others, but not shares in the business.

Such deals are done in the belief it will remain one step ahead and customers will pay a premium for its advances

But in a week when Tata Steel announced 1,050 job losses centred on Port 
Talbot – taking the industry’s national total to 5,000 redundancies announced and a further 1,700 at risk – we fervently hope he is right.