A week before the General Election, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne, visited George Bence & Sons in Cheltenham with the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Alex Chalk, as part of his South West campaign trail.

After being greeted by Paul Bence, managing director, Mr Osborne discussed the upcoming Election and how his party is setting out its policies to further boost small businesses. He also spent time mixing blue paint and operated a crane to carefully place some products on the bed of a vehicle ready for a delivery.

Mr Bence said: “We were honoured to have the Chancellor tour our business so close to the Election, and take time to have a conversation with us, in which we discussed our company’s heritage and how we have grown as a business.

“I believe low interest rates and low inflation have stimulated increased purchasing from our client base. We have successfully tapped into the government-backed GrowthAccelerator programme to help develop our senior management team and provide strategies in key areas of the business. We have funded new vehicle acquisitions at discounted rates via the Funding for Lending Scheme, and have enjoyed the benefits of the increased Annual Investment Allowance on these purchases.”

Mr Bence continued: “Opportunities have been provided for new starters through the government subsidised Prospect Training Services, and we have also benefited from apprenticeship-run schemes with Gloucestershire College for our staff.

“The current state of the economy has no doubt encouraged development over the past few years in the construction industry, and helped homeowners either further improve their properties or move to new homes. This has certainly had a positive impact on our recent financial results.”

Speaking about the visit, Mr Osborne said: “I visited George Bence & Sons because it is one of more than 5,000 companies across the UK who have signed the letter, and say to us that they have got the right economic plan now - just make sure you finish the job and lets not risk a change of course. We should listen to businesses like George Bence & Sons as it is a company that creates jobs and opportunities in our society, and enables us to afford great public services.”

Picture caption: L-r: Paul Bence talking to George Osborne and Alex Chalk about timber products.