A Birmingham businessman has claimed reports about the credit crunch having an impact on people and businesses in the Midlands are exaggerated.
Satt Sembhy, chief executive of long-established bespoke cabinet-makers Broadway Kitchens, said his business was operating in a supposedly difficult sector and was enjoying its most successful quarter in more than 30 years.
He claimed while people were being cautious, they were spending money responsibly, with many making informed decisions. Mr Sembhy said the picture was different to that painted by the “prophets of doom”, claiming that businesses would be forced to close amidst fears of recession.
They were not, he said, looking at the bigger picture.
“Something doesn’t add up,” he said. “For months now I have been reading reports and hearing the prophets of doom talking about the credit crunch, and how it is forcing businesses to close down and leaving people living in poverty. It is depressing news, but I have yet to see any real evidence.
“We are hearing that houses are not selling, that prices are plummeting by 30 and 40 per cent. Why, then, has Broadway Kitchens experienced the best quarter since it was established?”
He claimed that 78 per cent of his business was due to repeat custom, indicating that while people might not be moving house, many were choosing to stay where they are and invest in home improvement.
Mr Sembhy said: “There is no question that energy and food prices are continually rising, this does not necessarily mean that people have slumped into a depression. It does mean, however, that they are not impulse-buying.
“People are prepared to pay for quality goods, they see it as an informed decision and an investment, so it is all relative – when people say that house prices have begun to fall; perhaps that is because they have been hiked higher and higher beyond reach in the past few years and they are finally starting to right themselves.”
He claimed that people could be too easily fooled by what they read or heard.
“Business may not be booming for some companies, but neither is it a doom and gloom scenario. For plenty of Midlands manufacturers,
Broadway Kitchens included, the quality of workmanship is seen as a luxury well worth investing in,” he added.
Broadway Kitchens, has been established for 34 years, and has showrooms in Walsall and Streetly.