London Councils is encouraging Londoners to show their support for London’s local high streets and small independent businesses this Small Business Saturday.
Across the capital, London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation are backing small businesses. As we enter the festive season, which so many small businesses rely upon to survive, many boroughs are running campaigns to support local business owners and to make it easier for residents to shop locally.
This Saturday 4th December, businesses and residents across the capital will celebrate London’s many unique and wonderful small businesses. Anyone looking to make a purchase this weekend or in the coming months is encouraged to consider whether a small business in their borough could provide products or services they need, while also supporting the recovering local economy and fellow residents at the same time.
Londoners visiting shops and local businesses this weekend should follow the latest public health advice by wearing face masks and practicing social distancing indoors, as well as using hand sanitiser or washing hands regularly.
As part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, boroughs massively increased their engagement with local businesses in their communities. Boroughs are continuing to deliver business support via the additional grant to businesses (ARG) money and are committed to providing business support and advice to all those who need it.
Via the London Councils Pledges for Business, all London boroughs have made a public statement on improving their support to businesses and recognising the vital role they have to play in the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Examples of boroughs’ work ahead of Small Business Saturday include:
• Bromley is using its Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to support businesses into vacant units and have launched their specific cultural grants programme.
• Bexley is also using part of its ARG to support a series of pop-ups shops.
• Islington is supporting local small businesses to access opportunities from building and refurbishment projects in the borough and as part of its Shop Local campaign, Islington is working with NearSt to help local businesses increase footfall and sales via Google searches. They have also partnered with Black Training and Enterprise Group to deliver masterclasses for business owners, providing tailored support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business owners, including one-to-one mentoring.
• Enfield has launched their 1000 Business Club alongside Federation of Small Businesses which already has 500 members, with a range of support and networking activities on offer.
• Redbridge is hosting an event for businesses to launch their business recovery and growth programme. As part of this they are providing training, advice and mentoring support for established and new market traders.
• Kingston upon Thames has appointed leading workspace operator Town Square as managing operators of a new workspace and local charity Creative Youth to deliver cultural enterprise and events on the Kingston Riverside.
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Deputy Chair of London Councils said:
“This Saturday, we are proud to celebrate London’s fantastic small businesses that make our local communities so vibrant and unique. Boroughs are delighted to support and highlight the talent and dedication of small businesses, which are an essential part of London’s local high streets and who give so much back.
“The past two years have thrown many curveballs at small businesses. However, as a silver lining there has also been a huge upsurge in pride and support for businesses in our local areas.
“Small Business Saturday is an excellent time to head to your local high street and explore the amazing products and services on offer from local small businesses and fellow residents.”
London Councils is delighted to announce that the fifth Small Business Friendly Borough Awards will be held in February and that nominations are now open. Supported by both London Councils and the London Region of The Federation of Small Businesses, the awards provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate local authority initiatives to support small and micro businesses.