Couple at crossroads as Portsmouth business needs more funding to grow

Angela Philpott and her husband David inside their shop, with Scooby, a red tail Boa Constrictor. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142412-3101)
Angela Philpott and her husband David inside their shop, with Scooby, a red tail Boa Constrictor. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142412-3101)
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SETTING up their own business was a dream come true for a couple who had been on benefits for more than a decade.

But Angela Philpott and husband David, who broke his back in an accident in 1987, say they are not being given the financial support they need by banks or by the government to keep up with their retail demands.

The couple runs Slip, Slither and Slide, a reptile shop in Copnor Road.

With the support of Jobcentre Plus, they went from being unemployed to running their own shop seven days a week.

Angela, who is 43, said: ‘When he was on benefits, my husband was really depressed. He was trying so hard to get a job and it wasn’t working.

‘When we heard about the government scheme that could help us start our own business, we jumped at the chance.

‘The job centre was very helpful. We got a £1,000 loan to help us start up and then were left to our own devices.’

Angela said the business is going well and brings in money, but the couple wants more capital to extend its range to meet customer demand.

‘I have approached our bank three or four times and it is always the same,’ she added.

‘They won’t lend to us because we have taken out pay-day loans before we got off the dole which has given us a bad credit rating.

‘I have tried so many different ways to get some help and I feel like I am up against a wall.

‘My husband was so excited when we started the business.

‘I don’t want to give up on our business and neither does he, but we don’t know what else to do.’

A spokeswoman for Santander, the bank approached by the couple, said: ‘The customer’s request for an overdraft facility on their business banking account was declined due to insufficient information being available.

‘We would be happy to review this case once the customer has provided the necessary information.’

A spokeswoman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills added: ‘Any small business that needs help can get expert advice through

‘We are working hard to make it as easy as possible to start and grow a business.

‘Small businesses can get a wide range of tailored, expert advice and support services from mentoring, help with business planning to funding through successful schemes such as the Employment Allowance and Start Up Loans.’