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  • Husband-and-wife team win an online ‘plug’ from Dragons’ Den Theo

    Henry James

    A SKELMERSDALE company run by a husband-and-wife team has been named a winner in the Small Business Sunday scheme run by retail magnate and entrepreneur Theo Paphtis.

    Best known for his role as a panellist on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to business tycoons, Pahptis created Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter, to promote small businesses.

    Each week, he rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet including the all-important hashtag #SBS. Only tweets made in the time slot between 5 and 7.30pm each Sunday count and Theo chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted to his 500,000 followers.

    Big Tree Recruitment in White Moss Road, West Gillibrands was one of the lucky six winners after Claire Rochford, who runs the company with husband Stephen tweeted Theo.

    The winning business are profiled on the #SBS website and invited to a business event in Birmingham to meet Theo, who is also chairman of Ryman Stationery.

    A delighted Claire told the Champion: “We think this is an amazing opportunity and we are honoured to have been chosen.

    “We started Big Tree Recruitment two-and-a-half years ago and as a small business we appreciate support from such a successful and inspirational businessman such as Theo Paphitis.

    “We are a specialist recruitment business, specialising in surveying in the construction industry. My husband came up with the business idea as he had worked in surveying for 14 years, and was aware of the difficulties that companies have finding great surveyors.

    Community projects

    “Stephen had to stop working as a surveyor due to health issues, but still wanted to work within the industry in some way.

    “We have now started to branch out into recruitment for West Lancs, supplying customer service, claims advisors and more.”

    The company is also looking to start community projects and Claire added: “We are also in the process of setting up a tree-planting scheme in Skelmersdale and the local area with the council, to help give back something to the community. For every candidate we place in to a job position, we plant a tree.”


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