A BUSINESS aimed at disabled people and lauded by Prime Minister Gordon Brown has run into difficulties.
Lazarus Mobility – founded three years ago in Huddersfield – has been forced to shut its Aspley showroom.
But owner and founder Stephen Collins today vowed to continue running the business, which provides mobility aids for disabled people.
And he said he was hopeful that a new shop offering the mobility aids would be open before Christmas.
Mr Collins said the business, like many others, had been fighting hard to get through the recession.
He said there had been cashflow problems but new arrangements had now been made with the banks. The jobs of the company’s four employees are not affected.
“We are still trading from our offices in Marsden and we hope to get a new showroom open in weeks.
“All the services we offer to help people with their disabilities are still being offered and we are definitely still in business.
“I hope that it will be business as usual within a few weeks.
“Like many businesses, we have hit a few problems and we were forced to close our premises in Silver Street at Aspley. But plans for a new shop, hopefully in Moldgreen, are well advanced and we could be open before Christmas.”
Launched almost three years ago, Lazarus Mobility has grown to become a leading supplier of numerous disability aids – with more in the pipeline due to Stephen’s development with experts at Warwick University.
Stephen, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has also had support from Dragon’s Den panellist Duncan Bannatyne, who last year agreed to pay his salary for a year to enable him to focus more fully on building up the business.
Early this summer Mr Collins was among 150 business bosses to attend a reception hosted by the Prime Minister and Industry Secretary Lord Mandelson at 10 Downing Street.
He said at the time: “It was a very great privilege to be invited to Downing Street and to be given the opportunity to discuss some of the difficulties experienced and successes we have achieved at Lazarus Mobility.”
He also outlined his plans to launch a new part of the business, organising holidays for disabled people.
The disabled entrepreneur has recently won two awards.
He was the Yorkshire winner of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
The accolade meant he joined other regional winners at a ceremony at the House of Lords.
And earlier this year, he was named as a finalist in the Barclays Trading Places Award.