TWO Dewsbury businesses have defied the credit crunch with exciting expansion schemes.
Thriving comic book store Strange Tales has left Dewsbury Arcade to set up a new shop in the nearby Kingsway Arcade.
Strange Tales owners Tas and Terry Marshall they were swamped by enthusiastic customers when they officially opened their new shop two weeks ago.
Tas said: "In less than two years I've gone from Qui Adoro, where I started off with a desk and five comics boxes, to this.
"It's about nine times bigger than the old shop with the upstairs, which will be open in time for Dewsbury's first free comic book day on May 2. The feedback from the customers has been fantastic."
The larger store means Strange Tales can stock more comics, 3D posters, Ugly Dolls and Gelli Baff products as well as new ranges like retro toys, which they plan to introduce in the coming weeks.
But Tas said the shop would never have been ready so soon without the help of Dewsbury Retail Forum.
She said members of the business group pitched in with painting and moving stock to help them open less than a month after they first looked at the shop.
Meanwhile, Cafe Geo has teamed up with students from Batley School of Art and Design for its new restaurant launch.
Owner George Alexander invited fashion styling and promotion students to redesign the logo, staff uniforms and interior decor of his cafe in The Arcade and the new pizzeria he plans to open in Batley Carr.
George said he decided to work with the students after watching the college's annual fashion show last year.
He said: "Sam Hudson, the course tutor, and about five or six students came to look at the menu, listened to the music we play and came back with their own ideas for the place.
"They did a fantastic job and I was very impressed with how professional they were.
"I'm opening at Skopos Mill on March 1 and their new logo will be used where everyone can see it. It will be a pizzeria and pasta place and my intention is if everything goes well there then a new menu will be brought to Dewsbury."