£360,000 pay day for boss of Doncaster firm owned by Dominic Gibbs as brides await cash
The boss of a Doncaster firm owned by controversial local businessman Dominic Gibbs has revealed how the business has made £360,000 this year – as brides left out of pocket following the collapse of another firm demand answers and cash.
Be More Social, a social media marketing firm based in Doncaster town centre, was snapped up by Mr Gibbs earlier this year following the collapse of the Diamond Live Lounge, a party and music venue he previously ran.
The Wood Street venue – better known to generations of clubbers as Camelots – was declared insolvent in January, with angry wedding couples, party organisers, workers and contractors all claiming to be owed thousands of pounds, some as much as £4,000.
Mr Gibbs, who also runs Doncaster cage fighting business Caged Steel, has repeatedly refused to answer questions about his business dealings.
And now it has emerged he added Be More Social, which is based in the former Doncaster Free Press offices in Printing Office Street, to his portfolio earlier this year.
Earlier this week, the firm’s CEO Rik Courtney was reported as saying he has made £360,000 this year alone from the business.
In a post on LinkedIn from earlier this summer, Mr Gibbs wrote: “I have some exciting news!
"I am now the proud owner of Be More Social (Doncaster).
“Don't worry, I haven't stopped being the Caged Steel Boss. I added this new venture to my portfolio.
"I have known, Rik for many, many years now. Rik helped get Caged Steel to a 1.1 million global reach company.
"I want to now pass on that knowledge, created running a real company not just being an agency, to other companies, showing them the importance of running great social media platforms.
“I am really looking forward to helping the local communities and businesses in the area get real results from their social media. Myself and my team will help you learn to run your social media accounts to get results.
“Huge thanks to the team and Rik Courtney at head office for the support and letting me help on the mission to entertain, educate and inspire 1% of the 5.9m businesses in this
Ironically, Mr Gibbs, previously a vocal user of both Twitter and Facebook, has remained tight-lipped since allegations about his business dealings emerged and has not posted on either platform for a number of weeks.
On Tuesday, the Daily Express reported that Mr Courtney, who started as a social media freelancer in 2010 and invested £10,000 to get his business on its feet, has seen business increase by 152 per cent, translating to a £360,000 revenue for 2021 alone.
Mr Courtney commented: “I set up Be More Social in 2010, it was just me initially running a social media agency service, where I’d do the work required for my clients.
“However, as the social media marketing industry began to explode, I realised that there was so much more I could do to help businesses create impact with their social media efforts, which is when Be More Social pivoted from an agency model to a consultancy”.
He continued: “Our goal as a business is to work with one percent of the 5.9 million small businesses in the UK, which amounts to 59,000 customers.”
We have contacted both Be More Social and Mr Gibbs for comment.
Diamond Live Lounge was declared insolvent in January and quietly closed its social media channels and website without announcement and details of its closure have only just come to light.
Company documents have revealed another company trading as Diamond Live Lounge Ltd went bust in 2016 with debts of more than £117,000.
A newly formed company, Diamond Doncaster, founded in January 2019, was the one declared insolvent in January this year.
Mr Gibbs, who has touted himself as a clean up Doncaster campaigner, has repeatedly refused to comment, apart from a single tweet denying he was in charge of the Wood Street venue when it went bust and claiming that he had been helping people to get their money back.
His only statement since the allegations began was to say he was ‘on a high’ after using Twitter to plug Caged Steel.
It has also been revealed that controversial Doncaster sticker seller Phillip Anthony Hartley has worked and been paid by Mr Gibbs for a number of years, helping to erect and dismantle equipment for the cage fighting business he now runs.
Mr Gibbs’ only response so far has been a reply to a tweet on August 21 prior to a Caged Steel show in which he said: “I have a show this weekend, however, I wasn't a shareholder or director when the business's (sic) went into administration. I have been helping people get money back. Get all details and I will call them all next week.”
Documents listed on Companies House show his former or ongoing involvement in a number of companies with similar names, registered to a number of different addresses.
These include a firm called Freedom Events and Entertainment Ltd, whose address is listed as 34-46 Wood Street – the address of Diamond Live Lounge, Diamond Safety Management Ltd, Diamond Promotions Ltd and Diamond Business Centre Ltd.