WHILST most of us drive a car, jump on a bus, catch a train or walk to work one Llanelli Town Centre businesswoman only has to pop downstairs.
Amanda Davies has been lucky enough to combine her expanding bicycle business and home all under one roof.
On Your Bike occupies the former Shoezone premises in Stepney Street after Carmarthenshire County Council bought the empty building from private ownership. It was renovated as an apartment and retail space and then let to her at an affordable rent.
Amanda jumped at the chance to relocate her business and move into the flat above.
Amanda said: “I started my business off with just four bicycles and two skateboards and now I’m selling hundreds. Moving into the new store has enabled me to expand my business and offer a repair service too with the added convenience of living upstairs. Llanelli Town Centre is a great town and I’ve always been well supported by its visitors.”
Currently there are three council retail units available for rent – 3 Cowell Precinct, 18a Cowell Street and 65 Stepney Street.
£4.5million investment has been made in Llanelli Town Centre through buying and renovating empty properties as part of the Opportunity Street scheme, supported by Welsh Government.
She said: “As a young girl I remember my mother bringing me into town and it was full of independent local business. A business is hard work and it doesn’t bring success overnight – you have to work hard and make people come to you. I’ve seen a big improvement in the town centre in the last 18 months to two years. The events like the food and music festival has helped tremendously and it’s provided an opportunity to showcase what is here and ensure they return.”
Carmarthenshire County Council agreed to adopt the Welsh Government’s business rate relief scheme, worth an estimated £488,000 for qualifying ratepayers in Carmarthenshire, in April 2017.
Shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes in town centres are amongst those eligible to apply for reduced business rates under the scheme, established to support those that have seen their rates increase as a result of the 2017 revaluation undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency.