A FLORIST has spoken of the boost the Midlands Grand National has given to her business.
Businesses saw trade rise sharply on race day on Saturday, with Uttoxeter’s population effectively doubling as thousands of race-goers came to town.
And Emilie Duclos florist provided all the floral arrangements for the big day, giving the Uttoxeter compnay an ‘important financial boost’.
Having provided the flowers for the race for the last six years, owner Margaret Button said her firm now has a ‘special relationship’ with the Wood Lane course.
She said: “They were using another florist that wasn’t from the area and found that, with us, it was much easier for them logistically.
“If they need an extra vase at short notice, that’s not a problem for me and Sunday race meets are also fine for us.
“We’ve been doing it for that long now that we’re all friends and I think it’s great that they’ve chosen a local business.”
Racecourse executive director David MacDonald said he always tries to use companies in the Uttoxeter area for services on race days.
He said: “Our relationship with the town and the community is really important to us.
“We always try and use businesses in the local area, like Packington Pork and Wright’s Pies.
“But to be able to use a firm from Uttoxeter is even better.
“Margaret provided a wonderful service on Saturday, with some lovely floral features for our hospitality guests.
“She makes every room look so beautiful.”
Emilie Duclos has been trading in Uttoxeter for nine years.
But it has not always been plain sailing for the company.
Mrs Button said: “The high point of our trading was in the boom period before the recession.
“Companies like ours really suffered as flowers were seen very much as a luxury and people weren’t investing.
“We had to lay off staff, which was a very unpleasant thing to have to do, and I wasn’t even taking home a wage for some time.
“But we’ve come through the other side of the recession now and trade has been steadily rising for some time.
“The contracts we get from the racecourse, where we do weddings and all other sorts of events, really help us get our name out there and grow the business.
“I hope it’s there forever because it’s absolutely vital for the future prosperity of business in town.”