Programme helps Chris open business

Chris Reid (centre) is pictured with David Gillespie (General Manager of LEDCOM) and Lawrence Greer (Business Advisor with LEDCOM).'Pic by Press Eye/Darren Kidd.
Chris Reid (centre) is pictured with David Gillespie (General Manager of LEDCOM) and Lawrence Greer (Business Advisor with LEDCOM).'Pic by Press Eye/Darren Kidd.

A Newtownabbey man has turned his hobby into a shot blasting and powder coating business with the support of the Go For It programme.

Car and motorcycle enthusiast Chris Reid (26) launched Powdertek NI in January after spotting a gap in the market for a professional shot blasting and powder coating facility in Belfast.

The purpose-built premises in Dargan Crescent specialises in powder coating and shot blasting services for the automotive industry, as well household items such as gates, fences, railings and garden furniture.

Since 2012 Chris had been powder coating old alloy wheels and motorcycle frames using a hand-built powder cure oven and spray booth as a hobby in his spare time. It was not until he was made redundant from his position with a manufacturing firm in March 2017 that he contacted the programme to help transform his hobby into a business.

Chris said: “I’ve had a real passion for all things on two and four wheels since I was really young, especially restoring parts from old cars and motorcycles.

“I’d been researching the idea of starting my own business for nearly two years, but never really took it anywhere. However, my employers were making redundancies and this shock to the system really gave me the impetus to push on and get my own business up and running.

“The programme was a tremendous support and my business advisor, Lawrence Greer from LEDCOM in Larne genuinely couldn’t do enough to help at each stage of the process. He really helped me focus my business objectives and work out my numbers with a clear and concise business plan. Once I had this I was able to secure the necessary loan to launch Powdertek NI.”

If you have a business idea you would like to develop or are thinking about starting a business, visit www.goforitni.com