An entrepreneur has battled back from being critically ill in hospital to open a new business in Whitley Bay.
Paul Morales was one of the first to receive a loan from Gateshead-based Transmit Start-Ups, which he used to help open Whitley Bay Skate Shop in Park View.
The 35-year-old, from Cullercoats, has overcome the odds to launch the business after nearly dying from septicaemia when he originally planned to open, spending several weeks in hospital before making a full recovery.
The shop specialises in all the main brands of skatewear and boards, as well as the growing demand for retro and vintage skateboards and clothing and retro roller boots, while Paul also offers skateboard lessons and demonstrations for schools.
Paul, a father-of-two, said: “It is fantastic to have this financial support from Transmit Start-Ups.
“The loan will help me stock the shop and develop the website so I can attract clients from all over the country. As I have never been self-employed before, the business mentoring will also be extremely beneficial.”
Damian Baetens, director at Transmit Start-Ups, said: “Paul has overcome terrible personal challenges to launch his business.
“His grit and determination to succeed is clearly shown in the fact that he has been able to open his shop and has ambitious plans for further development.
“The market for skateboards and accessories seems to be booming at present so it is a perfect time to launch.”
Whitley Bay Skate Shop, at 67 Park View, is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more visit www.facebook.com/whitleybayskateclub