Martin Walker

Member Article

Budding businesses are flourishing in the Emporium

Up-and-coming entrepreneurs bursting with ideas are making the most of a golden opportunity to make their dreams a reality.

The Emporium’s low cost test-trading spaces are currently home to fledgling businesses Craftwithus, Tasty Treats, Gifts All Around and Workwear.

A string of enterprises have already graduated from The Emporium to establish themselves elsewhere in the town, including on Baker Street and Linthorpe Road, and the latest round of businesses are hoping to follow in their footsteps.

In less than three months in The Emporium, Craftwithus owner Gemma May has had to double the size of the area she occupies and bring in more products to keep up with customer demand.

She credits the prime location at the Linthorpe Road entrance to the Hillstreet Centre with helping her attract shoppers’ interest and develop her clientele.

She said: “Having the window to display our products is a great opportunity, and we can even do demos which always draws people in.”

Tasty Treats entrepreneur Kelly Griffin has found The Emporium the ideal launchpad for her business bringing back retro sweets alongside more modern creations like chocolate bar bouquets.

She said: “The Emporium is a great place to start a business.

“It makes financial sense because the rent is low but I still have ample space, and I get access to a wide range of customers I might not get to meet otherwise.”

Gifts All Around is The Emporium’s newest resident, offering a miniature treasure trove of gifts from soap and candles to bags and photo frames.

After creating her business in February, owner Simone Garbutt was keen to have a shop unit to trade from.

She said: “The Emporium has helped me get a unit which has low rent so I can test my business out.

“They also give you free support with anything you need. I’m really happy I’ve been given this chance.”

Keeping everyone from riggers to daddy’s little helper in hi-visibility jackets and workmen’s boots, Workwear completes the current Emporium line-up.

Owner Tariq Hussain is also thankful for the opportunity to test-trade in a great location for a fledgling business.

He said: “The Emporium is a great opportunity for a small business, with special rates on rent, prime town centre position, and help with selling.

“Workwear has been trading for three months and is already getting a good established name.”

Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “The Emporium continues to show that with the right support and incentives, new businesses can flourish in Middlesbrough.”

Spaces are currently available for retailers looking to join The Emporium success story, with bags of back-up support, advice and expertise thrown in.

Successful applicants bag a range of benefits including op to six months’ rent-free retail space, access to individual professional or business development support and a branding and PR package.

For further information contact Project Support Officer Lisa Williams on 01642 729007 or email

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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