A STONE mum looking to open her own shop is calling for an indoor market in the town centre to help fellow aspiring entrepreneurs.
Kerry Dawson plans to launch a business selling baby goods but faces funding challenges because of high town centre rents and business rates.
She believes an indoor market would help budding businesspeople kick-start their enterprises as the rent would be split, lowering the costs involved in setting up shop.
The scheme would also give shoppers more choice and variety in Stone, she said, and the lower operating costs could help market traders offer lower prices to their customers.
The Walton mum said: "Mums like myself who want to start a business may be able to have a market stall. It would also be good for the Young Enterprise groups at Alleyne's High School.
Kerry has discussed the proposal with town councillor Harry Brunt. One potential premises considered was the former wine shop in Stone High Street, vacant for some time.
Councillor Brunt said: "The property would lend itself to being sub-divided into several small units. Smaller units would be affordable and create opportunities that are badly needed.
Some type of partnership deal, perhaps brokered by the Stone, Stafford and Staffordshire councils as an enterprise scheme, could make this idea a reality."
Councillor Brunt called on fellow councillors for support at Tuesday's town council meeting - and they backed the idea.
Councillor Margaret Goodall said: "I think this seems a very good idea and needs to be encouraged.
Councillor Rob Kenney added: "I think the first port of call is to approach the owners, then Stafford Borough Council to ask if they can do nil rates for the building.”
Stone Town Council is keen to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in the project. Anyone interested should contact the council offices on 01785 619740.