SEVERAL family-run businesses received a visit from local MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride this week to celebrate Family Business Week 2022.

The initiative, organised by the Institute for Family Business (IFB) in partnership with NatWest, champions the vital role of family-run businesses in creating local jobs and shaping the fabric of local communities.

This year’s campaign follows on from the success of Family Business Week 2021, which highlighted the role of family businesses in supporting local communities during the pandemic.

14 million people are employed by family firms, contributing £637 billion to UK GDP and around £205 billion a year in taxes.

Among the businesses Mr Stride visited this week was Partridge Cycles at Kennford, Devon’s largest bike shop.

The business was set up by Mark Partridge in 1980 who began buying and selling second hand bicycles from the family garage in Gissons Lane. Over the years it has expanded, creating more and more local jobs, now employing 28 people.

Two years ago Mark stood down from the day to day running of business, with his son Alex now at the helm.

Alex said: ‘It was great to welcome Mel to Partridge Cycles for Family Business Week 2022. The cycle industry has seen many changes over the years and as a local family-run business we have been proud to pave the way for independent cycle retailing.’

Mr Stride added: ‘It was great to visit Partridge Cycles and meet the team. As a society we are more conscious than ever before about the need to reduce our carbon footprint and a big part of that will be walking and cycling more and driving less. I would encourage anyone looking to be more active to come here and have a look at the fantastic range of bikes they have for sale or to visit’

► For more information about Family Business Week visit