The Star Says: Local firms show business is booming

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It is always a pleasure to be able to report on good news for the local economy.

New jobs created, booming sales and recognition for some of our most successful business people are all part of today’s Business Weekly pullout inside The Star and online.

There is enough disappointing news in the economy to worry families in our area so we’re delighted to get the chance to shout about companies and organisations who are doing well.

Recruiting more staff is a sure sign that things are on the up and that is exactly what a Sheffield metal powder specialist has been doing recently.

Atomising Systems in Darnall, Sheffield, has hired 25 people in less than a year – nearly doubling the workforce – to cope with an increase in orders after ploughing hundreds of thousands of pounds into new equipment.

The company has boosted staff from 35 to 60 since September and is operating 24 hours-a-day to cope with an order book stretching into 2016.

More jobs mean money in more people’s pockets and that is reflected in sales at Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which are up 5.7 per cent year-on-year for 2015 to date.

There was a 10 per cent boost to sales in June compared with the year previous – and compared to a 2.9 per cent uplift nationally.

Even more pleasing is that the results come despite British Retail Consortium figures showing further decline in footfall at shopping centres.

It shows that there is renewed confidence in our area to spend some cash.

Recognition came in the form of Pricecheck Toiletries bosses Mark Lythe and Deborah Harrison being invited to Buckingham Palace after landing the UK’s highest business accolade – a Queen’s Award for international trade. Pricecheck, founded in 1978 by Mark and Deborah’s parents, currently has 71 staff on its books.

It is important that businesses in our area prosper.

We’d like to think we’re doing our bit too as The Star hosts a free digital marketing seminar in Sheffield on Thursday. The seminar, in collaboration with Digital Kitbag, is for small and medium businesses keen to reach an online audience for the first time, or ensure their website stands out.

Digital Kitbag is a one-stop-shop offering websites, social media, search engine optimisation, Google Adwords and even email campaigns. More details are inside today’s Business Weekly.