A family business has come through lockdown thanks to its founder’s daughter’s investment in the company’s future. Holly Knowles, 26, is now the manager of Bolton Sign, a well-established firm based in Tonge Fold which creates signage for local, national and international clients after having taken over from father Andrew Knowles during the lockdown.
He built the business up over the last 35 years but by the time Ms Knowles was ready to join the family firm it was faced with huge challenges as the coronavirus crisis began.
She said: “I took a position here in January 2020 and it was just before the Covid lockdown came in, so we had just two months before lockdown.
“We made the decision to close the business, we didn’t want to put anyone at risk and we had people who had to shield.”
“When manufacturing was able to reopen in summer 2020 we came back to work a week later, we had some projects to pick up again and some clients we were working with.”
Despite reopening Bolton Sign had been badly impacted by the crisis, with many of its clients suspending business, meaning that Ms Knowles had to take special measures to help the firm survive.
She said: “In May 2021 the company went into administration, I had inherited some money from my grandma to buy a house, so I said I’d attend the next meeting with the administrators.
“I used my inheritance money I was going to buy a house with to buy the assets back from the administrators.”
“I just thought, me and my brother used to spend all our holidays here, I’d help doing a bit of filing here and there and I helped out a bit more when I was at college.
“So I just thought it’s always been a part of our lives, and they’d worked so hard to build up what they had, we can’t just let it go.”
Holly is now in charge of 11 members of staff, with father Andrew particularly proud of how she has stepped up to the challenge of what he says is a”primarily male environment.”
She now has plans in store for Bolton Sign’s future.
She said: “We’ve had to diversify quite a lot, to put ourselves out there, we’ve set up a new website and rebranded our signage. We’re just trying to make more connections.”
Bolton Signs: https://www.boltonsign.co.uk