Karen Mooney runs Sara Eden Introductions, a dating agency in London and Windsor that she set up in 1988. Business, she says, is booming. ‘Love conquers all things,’ she says, ‘ even in the credit crunch.
In fact we’ve seen a 19% growth in sales over the last six months of 2008 and we’ve had a 23% increase in enquiries over the same period. We have five times more people on the books than this time last year.’
Mooney says that when there is uncertainty in the economy, people tend to think about the more important things in life. ‘Some people may have put off finding a partner, but with the difficulties in the economy, perhaps it concentrates their minds. You could be flippant and say they are looking for people to share their bills with.’
The business employs 10 people and offers a niche service to professionals. Mooney has also switched from print advertising in the national newspapers to online.
While the business is adjusting to wider financial issues – for example by allowing people to pay in instalments rather than in one lump sum – generally speaking she says downturns are good for her business. ‘We made a fortune in the previous recession,’ she adds. ‘And while we’re not complacent about 2009, this is one industry that tends to do well in hard times.’