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At 91, Frank's still a five-day-a-week boss

PUBLISHED: 10:10 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:20 25 August 2010

GOING STRONG: Frank Arthur with grandson Edward.

GOING STRONG: Frank Arthur with grandson Edward.

A 91-YEAR-OLD who has shunned retirement has been honoured for his dedication and expertise at creating jobs in the area. Frank Arthur was given honorary life membership to mark his 50 years as a member of Kent branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

A 91-YEAR-OLD who has shunned retirement has been honoured for his dedication and expertise at creating jobs in the area.

Frank Arthur was given honorary life membership to mark his 50 years as a member of Kent branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Mr Arthur still works a five-day week as chief executive of print company LEFA Enterprises, of Planwell House, Sidcup, a company he founded 62 years ago as Envopak Enterprises before it changed names in 1995.

Under his stewardship, LEFA has helped create 45 jobs in the last decade by taking struggling small businesses under its wing and helping them back to health. This week a deal, subject to confidentiality, has helped save four people from the dole queue at a Sidcup firm.

Accepting the honour, he said he hoped the sincerity of a handshake in closing a deal would make a comeback.

Mr Arthur said: "I am very proud to have been honoured in this way."

He said that, with the credit crunch making it impossible for smaller companies to get hold of cash, it fell to larger companies with more clout to provide support.

Looking back over his years in business, he said: "Frankly, I regret that the fundamental trust in business transactions that generally existed in my early days appears to have gone out of fashion.

"I hope the pendulum will swing back some time and once again a handshake on a deal is genuinely more than just a handshake. While it is fair to say people are better off generally, most noticeably in the South-east, they sadly do not feel as secure as people did in my younger days."

Since October last year, LEFA Print, at the forefront of digital print technology, has more than doubled its business to £1.8 million and is on course to make £3 million by next year. Grandson Edward Arthur, 29, is learning the ropes and is being tipped by his grandad to take the helm. "He's making good progress and will be a very good successor," he said.

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