The head of a Dundee packaging company established after a 51-day factory sit-in by sacked workers has called on banks to loosen the purse strings to help out small businesses.
Discovery Design and Packaging Ltd was formed from the ashes of the collapsed Prisme Packaging in Tannadice Street last May.
Managing director David Taylor said that while sales were “picking up” the firm faced constant challenges and called on banks to “have a bit of faith” in fledgling businesses.
He said, “We need the banks to start lending again. You can show them figures and how promising they may look, but whoever it is makes the decision looks at one thing, and that’s the bottom line.
“They have to take into account where you started, what you’ve been through and where you’re heading. If there’s proof showing you are on a steady trend upward then I don’t see what the problem is.”
The seven workers started the firm with the help of financial backing from an anonymous local businessman and also secured £40,000 of funding from Royal Bank of Scotland to help them expand.
Mr Taylor said the company recently had to make two of its employees redundant due to the tough financial climate, giving it a current workforce of five.
He said, “They understand, and hopefully once we’re on our feet a bit better we can take them back on. For a business to survive we need to make these sacrifices. We don’t have the luxury of thousands of pounds in the bank.
“Our machines were down for four weeks but they are working now, so we have a backlog of work.”
The former Prisme Packaging workers were on the brink of losing their jobs and redundancy payments when their former employer decided to close the business in March last year.Lock-inA 51-day lock-in followed, during which they came up with the idea of starting up their own company.
Mr Taylor said, “When we first started the company, the first three months were dreadful, which set us on the back foot. We started with a small pot of money during a recession. We knew what it would be like but we didn’t realise it would be so difficult.
“We’re definitely getting there we’ve got some good accounts and some good orders. The run-up to Christmas should be good as it is always a busy time.”
“It’s quite difficult to get sales over the summer because the people who make the decisions are on holiday.”
Mr Taylor said the company, which designs and creates boxes for businesses, was closely monitoring what the new coalition government would be doing to help small businesses.
He said, “We are tightening our belts because we don’t know what’s going to happen. Any savings we can make we will definitely be making them. Everyone we speak to is in the same boat. I speak to printers and suppliers all the time and it is just so competitive just now.
“However, sales are picking up and we are hell bent on doing whatever it takes to survive.”