Chorley microentrepreneur wins national award

Chorley-based Brett’s Pets has won Young Microentrepreneur of the year at the Citi Microentrepreneur Awards 2017.

Bretts PetsThe Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards champion the thriving small businesses of Britain and home-grown entrepreneurs. To be eligible for the awards, a business must have benefited from an affordable loan from responsible finance providers and have contributed to local economic growth in the UK.

Brett’s Pets was nominated by Lancashire Community Finance, the responsible lender which provided the company with a Start-up Loan in 2013.

Brett’s Pets is a family run pet shop and veterinary surgery, offering a wide range of food and other products for most animals and exotic reptiles.

Brett has had a keen interest in animals, specifically exotic animals since an early age. After volunteering in both a pet shop and veterinary surgery he developed an ambition to one day open his own store.

In 2013, with the help of a £9,500 Start Up Loan from Lancashire Community Finance, Brett was able to realise this ambition at the age of 22. The loan was used to purchase stock, undertake some building works and provide some working, before Brett’s Pets was launched in the main shopping district of Chorley.

The business had an excellent start, but saw growth level off in year three, and Brett realised the current premises was limiting the amount of stock he could hold, which in turn was limiting his sales. In early 2016, he moved into new larger premises, still within the main shopping district of Chorley. The move enabled the business to stock an even bigger range of animals and products, and also to set up a dedicated veterinary surgery within the store, Chorley Vets.

Lancashire Community Finance Start Up Loans officer Sophie Keeling said: “Since the move sales have seen a meteoric rise, with predicted sales for year four standing at £220,000. Brett has not only ensured significant growth in sales but maintained excellent customer service, with a 4.9 rating on Facebook and customers visiting from all over the United Kingdom.

“Though this growth is excellent, Brett has no plans to stop here. He believes the business will grow even further within the Chorley area, after which his sights are firmly set on expansion into areas further afield.

“Brett has taken a dream and turned it into a reality. Along the way he has shown vision and leadership to overcome a plateau in sales and reignite business growth. He has offered a much needed service to the community of pet owners and lovers within the Chorley area. He has also ensured students in local colleges have the same opportunities afforded to him, so maybe one day they are also able to realise their ambitions, and so we offer our hearty congratulations on his worthy win at the awards."

Brett’s Pets and Chorley Vets currently employ 14 paid staff and also have over 10 work experience students from local colleges completing placements. Jennifer Tankard, chief executive of awards sponsir Responsible Finance, said: “It is inspiring to see Brett’s success and his passion for creating and growing his business. The judges were impressed by how Brett has created jobs and work experience placements for young people in Chorley. The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards celebrate the innovation and drive of entrepreneurs like Brett, the stars behind local economic growth."