AN AWARD-winning convenience store owner was visited in his shop by a shadow minister eager to hear how a future Labour government can help him.
Minister for small businesses, Toby Perkins MP, dropped into Best-One in London Road, Isleworth, yesterday (Tuesday) to meet Alkesh Gadher.
Up for discussion during their hour-long meeting were issues from the scourge of illicit tobacco and the state of the newspaper trade to Hounslow Council’s soaring business rates.
Mr Gadher, who’s father bought the store 36 years ago, has been in charge for nearly three decades.
From the turn of the Millenium until 2009 the store was a Spar but following increasing competition from Tesco, Nisa, Costcutter and Londis Mr Gadher decided to switch to Best-One - and has never looked back.
A crowning moment also occurred last year when Royal Mail painted the post box directly outside gold in honour of double gold-medal winner Mo Farah.
Speaking about the visit he said: "This isn’t a manufactured shop for the cameras – this is how people work. So I’m glad he’s (Mr Perkins) seen it."
The trip to Isleworth had been organised by independent convenience and newsagent trade magazine Retail Newsagent as a chance to put the needs of businesses like Mr Gadher’s higher up Labour’s priority list.
Mr Perkins told Mr Gadher: "I’d owned my own business before becoming an MP, but talking to businesses like yours lets me see the changing attitude of the banks towards small businesses as the recession has developed and learn about particular issues such as those of the newspaper industry which were new to me when I took on this role."