James paid a visit to the headquarters of cyber security firm Advent IM Ltd in Cradley on Friday (10th September), as he formally opened their new premises following the company’s move from their original site in Coombeswood.
Following the obligatory ribbon-cutting, James had the chance to catch up with Managing Director Mike Gillespie and Operations Director Julia McCarron, and heard about how Advent IM had to adapt their business practices in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. The company will continue to be offering virtual aswell as in-person training to clients, as they look to build on what has been a successful period despite all the challenges the last 18 months have thrown up.
After his catch-up, James toured other businesses on Cradley Enterprise Centre, which offers storage units and working space aimed at start-up companies. Amongst the 180 businesses on site, James visited distributers of toys, gemstones and wedding paraphanelia, as well as engineering and photography businesses.
"It’s always great to hear about local businesses doing well, especially given how challenging the climate has been for so many during the pandemic", said James. "I was honoured to be able to open Advent IM’s new premises and I hope they will continue to go from strength to strength.
"I also enjoyed my tour of the Enterprise Centre and it was fascinating to meet so many local entrepreneurs, including many young entrepreneurs, who’ve taken their first steps in putting their ideas into reality. Before becoming an MP I ran a small business myself and I know that they are the backbone of our economy, but I also know how hard these entrepreneurs have had to work to get their businesses going."
Julia McCarron added, “We have had the pleasure of engaging with James for many years as a business, so Mike and I were delighted that he was able to officially open our new office and for the opportunity to chat in person again, particularly about how the pandemic affected our business, from the initial uncertainty to the unexpected growth we have encountered.
“We talked about how remote working has opened up new avenues of business for us and led to our decision to downsize and support a hybrid working model, something James was keen to learn more about. Our meetings always provide valuable insight on both sides and we look forward to our next meeting with him.”