London Councils is encouraging Londoners to support London’s local high streets and small, independent businesses this Small Business Saturday (3 December) as many face unprecedented inflationary pressures and rising energy costs.
With the festive season underway and a vital time for so many small businesses, London boroughs are running campaigns to support local business owners and to encourage people to shop locally if they can. It is especially pertinent as this festive season follows on from the Covid-19 pandemic which brought its own challenges and barriers to small businesses.
The recent London Business 1000 Survey showed that three-quarters of London businesses (75%) are feeling less confident about the UK economy over the next 12 months than they were about the previous 12 months. A further three quarters of businesses (75%) also said that they have seen an increase in operational costs in the last 12 months.
Examples of boroughs’ support for Small Business Saturday include:
- Barnet is running a 'Nominate your favourite Barnet business' campaign, inviting residents to nominate their favourite local business. From beloved local cafés and shops to trades like builders who have gone the extra mile, residents can vote to celebrate those small businesses that are at the heart of their communities.
- Waltham Forest is supporting Small Business Saturday with a programme of events and activities (both council and non-council run) to support the borough’s high streets and to help residents shop locally.
- Kingston is inviting local businesses to join their Backing Local Business Spotlight Campaign, which will shine a spotlight on local businesses. The council is also asking residents to nominate their favourite local business to be featured. The campaign will boost business visibility while encouraging residents to shop locally and support their local community.
London Councils is reiterating its call for further government support to help businesses through the current economic pressures. Boroughs believe energy prices should be capped for small and medium-sized businesses for longer than six months, should more support be required, and that targeted business rates relief could help the most vulnerable sectors, while ensuring councils are compensated for any lost income.
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, London Councils’ Executive Member for London’s Future (Business, Economy and Culture), said:
“Small businesses are key to the vibrancy of each local high street across our capital, and are what makes London such a unique city to live in.
“As we celebrate Small Business Saturday this weekend, boroughs are shining a light on our amazing local high streets and stand ready to work alongside the government to safeguard the future of our small businesses across the capital.
“I hope Londoners who are in a position to do so can explore the wonderful products and services on offer from local small business and high streets this weekend. The past three years have been challenging for all of London’s businesses and coming together to support our local high streets shows the unparalleled power of community and London spirit.”