London Councils is encouraging Londoners to show their support for London’s local high streets and small, independent businesses this Small Business Saturday after a phenomenally difficult year for many firms.
Across the capital, London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation are getting behind small businesses, with many boroughs running campaigns to encourage residents to shop locally where possible while also following public health advice and Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions to keep themselves and others safe.
Anyone looking to make a purchase this Saturday 5th December and over the next few months is encouraged to consider whether a small business in their borough could provide products or services they need, with the added bonus of giving practical support to the local economy and fellow residents at the same time.
Examples of boroughs’ work ahead of Small Business Saturday include:
• Barnet Council’s ‘Discover Barnet’ campaign, which shares the story of 15 local business owners to encourage everyone to shop locally – and safely – this festive season.
• Hounslow’s ‘Keep It Local’ campaign is highlighting independent businesses across the borough.
• Waltham Forest’s ‘Choose Local, Support Everyone’ campaign aims to drive economic recovery by stimulating community spirit and pride that leads to active support and promotion of local businesses.
• Greenwich has also launched a call to action, suggesting three ways residents can support their local businesses, including using their Small Business Finder online search tool.
• Kensington and Chelsea is running two social media campaigns encouraging people to share their favourite shops and top products on offer locally.
Government has provided business rates reliefs and a range of grants, loans and schemes for businesses this year. Boroughs have worked tirelessly to deliver funding to local businesses as quickly as possible, allocating £1.6billion via over 108,000 individual grants to date. London Councils recognises that there are gaps in the support provided and many otherwise thriving businesses will have experienced difficulty and hardship as a result.
Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ Executive member for Business, Europe and Good Growth, said:
“This year has been one of the most challenging for London’s small businesses. This is especially true for independent retailers, cafés, pubs and restaurants. In addition the rich and complex hidden supply chain for London’s cultural and hospitality sector has been hit hard, from event companies, catering suppliers to specialist hotel laundries.
“While government support for businesses was rapid and significant, many slipped through the net and have seen little or no financial support and London Councils will continue to campaign for additional funding especially for the self-employed.
“We are proud to celebrate the work of boroughs promoting our local high streets and the small independent businesses that make them such wonderful vibrant places and assets for their local communities.
“I hope Londoners who are in a position to do so explore the amazing products and services on offer from local small business and high streets this weekend. As a community, we need to support each other now more than ever, and this is a powerful way to do it.”