Hemel Hempstead’s business successes ‘outnumber failures’ says MP

Opening the Dacorum Expo were, from left, Maree Atkinson from the Federation of Small Businesses, Dacorum mayor Gillian Chapman and co-organiser Debbie Gilbert
Opening the Dacorum Expo were, from left, Maree Atkinson from the Federation of Small Businesses, Dacorum mayor Gillian Chapman and co-organiser Debbie Gilbert
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THERE is more good news than bad in the Hemel Hempstead economy, according to the town’s MP.

MP Mike Penning gave a morale-boosting speech at the first Dacorum Business Expo yesterday, Thursday, April 26.

Public sector organisations were well represented at the Dacorum Expo

Public sector organisations were well represented at the Dacorum Expo

Mr Penning said: “In the last six months we have lost 300 jobs but in the same time we’ve gained 1,700. Some businesses are struggling, some are doing well.”

He praised Dacorum Borough Council for its pro-business policies and urged 80 delegates at a networking breakfast at the Ramada Hotel, near Redbourn, to “have a great time and be profitable.” He even did a deal himself on the day, with a printer cartridge provider.

Speaking to the Gazette Mr Penning said figures showing the country as a whole going into an official recession had little meaning for companies working hard day-to-day. He urged people to be more positive about the economy.

Away from the expo, the reaction was more cynical, with Hemel Hempstead Twitter user Lee Wilson (@leewils79) posting: “I’m guessing he hasnt been in the Marlowes lately.”

The Mount prison had a stand at the expo explaining what the inmates could produce in their workshops

The Mount prison had a stand at the expo explaining what the inmates could produce in their workshops

Dacorum mayor, Gillian Chapman praised the 44 exhibitors as being the ‘wealth creators’ without whom there is ‘no growth’.

“Dacorum cares that business is happy and has the workforce educated and well-motivated.” She urged local firms to talk to the council if they are having problems rather than leaving the area.

The expo was jointly organised by Debbie Gilbert, of Viva Business Networking, and Damian Cummins of Events and PR. The event included a motivational speech from millionaire businessman Brad Burton, who said: “To be successful you need shoe leather, a mobile phone and big balls.” He started out with debts of £25,000.