‘Government must do more to support grassroots businesses’ says letting agent

Gavin Millar of Millar Lettings.
Gavin Millar of Millar Lettings.

A GLENGORMLEY letting agent has said government sponsored schemes designed to boost business need to help more grassroot organisations such as his own.

Gareth Millar, Principal Letting Agent at Millar Lettings, attempted to secure funding through Invest NI’s Boosting Business programme.

The 27-year-old established his business in the centre of Glengormley in 2009.

Since then it has developed into a success story and now Gareth has reached the point where he wants to take on extra staff in order to grow into bigger markets.

However, when he approached Invest NI about its Boosting Business programme he was told the scheme was for firms that were keen to establish export growth.

Gareth told the Times: “I was disappointed that there was little in the way of help for me.

“I started the business on my own and have got to the point where I would like to be able to tender for bigger contracts and move into bigger markets.

“I just need the help and advice in order to employ some extra staff - maybe an apprentice - and ensure I have the right systems in place for it.

“When I contacted Invest NI and they said it was for people looking to export goods. I was disappointed.

“My business supports others around it, be they electricians or plumbers, that we would use on a regular basis.

“They don’t seem to realise that, while it is good to have export businesses offering something different, we also need to have common businesses like mine, that keep everything ticking over.”

For the full story, see this week’s Newtownabbey Times...