A BOLTON firm has celebrated their 10th anniversary with a visit from the Mayor of Bolton.

Hilton Smythe, a business brokers, helping people buy, sell and finance businesses, was set up by best friends Gareth Smyth and Craig Graham in 2011.

The pair used their student loans and overdraft to establish the firm, and they even resorted to sleeping on the floor at their first premises while they got their business going.

Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, facilitating the sale of more than 1,100 businesses nationwide and tens of millions of pounds of commercial loans and finance facilities.

In 2014 Hilton Smythe was named best start-up business of the year and four years later it expanded into commercial financial services.

Despite the pandemic the firm was named the UK’s number one business broker for the volume of businesses sold.

During the decade they’ve also raised money for numerous charities, including £15,000 for Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

A special party was organised to make the company’s first decade, with Cllr Linda Thomas, borough mayor, being a VIP guest.

Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hilton Smyth, said: “Craig and I decided 10 years ago that the world of business brokering needed a bit of a shake-up. We used student loans and overdrafts to start up the business, even resorting to sleeping on the floor of our office for a few months when we were getting it up and running.

“We believe we have been proven right, having established Hilton Smythe as one of the leading business sales advisor and finance broker in the UK.

“We have continued to evolve the business to make it more sustainable and offer a range of services to our clients such as commercial business brokerage, corporate merger and acquisition advisory, and commercial finance.

“This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our staff who have been instrumental in our growth and success, and we are glad to have them with us to mark this milestone in our business.”

Cllr Thomas said: “Hilton Smythe is a great example of the entrepreneurial businesses we have in Bolton, and I was delighted to help them celebrate this important anniversary.

"SMEs are so important to our economy so it’s great to see the success of a firm like Hilton Smythe, but also the many businesses they help across the country.”