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Small businesses stalwart steps down

By SPP Reporter

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Joan Campbell
Joan Campbell

A WOMAN who has championed the cause of small businesses in Sutherland for the past 12 years has decided to take a less prominent role.

Joan Campbell OBE, who until recently ran a bed and breakfast in Melvich, is stepping down as chairman of the Caithness and Sutherland branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

She has held the post for the past two years and will be handing over the reins to Andrew Mackay of the Norseman Hotel, Wick and the Castletown Hotel.

Joan said, "Having run my own B&B for many years and played an active role in tourism, both locally and nationally, small businesses are in my blood.

"It was only natural that I would be drawn to the FSB, the independent voice for the self-employed owners of small businesses throughout the Highlands and Islands.

"In my time as chair of the Caithness and Sutherland branch we have played a major role in changing some bad rules and regulations affecting small businesses nationally, including two concerning fire safety.

"That’s the beauty of the FSB – as the biggest business lobbying organisation in the UK, an issue raised by a small business in Caithness can, if found to affect businesses in other parts of the country, be raised by us in the Scottish, UK or European Parliaments - and politicians do listen.

"The decision to step down was not easy but, as I no longer have a business of my own, I felt that it was right for someone else to take the helm.

"I am delighted that Andrew is the new chair. He is very knowledgeable and professional and is fully committed to the North Highlands and its business community.

"As for me, I have not broken my links with the FSB entirely as I will remain on the Highlands and Islands regional committee as secretary."

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