Search

Call for ‘living business rents’ to protect small firms in East London

PUBLISHED: 14:59 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:08 18 July 2017

'We want living commercial rents like the London living wage': East End Trades Guild organiser Krissie Nicolson. Picture: Mike Brooke

'We want living commercial rents like the London living wage': East End Trades Guild organiser Krissie Nicolson. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Affordable business rents should be used in the war to stop small firms being pushed out of East London by large companies, campaigners say..

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... 'Small businesses struggle to survive with high rents'. Picture: MIKE BROOKETower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... 'Small businesses struggle to survive with high rents'. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

The revolutionary idea has been put forward by the East End Trades Guild in its Bastille Day commemoration to mark a year of successful government lobbying for capping business rates.

Many of the guild’s 200 members in Spitalfields and Shoreditch face crippling rent rises caused by property demand by large City corporate entities.

“The Mayor of London has brought in a ‘Living Rent’ following the Living Wage—we want something similar on commercial rents,” the guild’s founding organiser Krissie Nicolson told the East London Advertiser.

“Evidence-based affordable London commercial rent can be used in new developments with progressive landlords, in local plans and in the London Plan.”

Mayors fighting for east London's small businesses: Hackney's Philip Granville and Tower Hamlets' John Biggs, who also attended the meeting. Picture: Jeremy FreedmanMayors fighting for east London's small businesses: Hackney's Philip Granville and Tower Hamlets' John Biggs, who also attended the meeting. Picture: Jeremy Freedman

The idea emerged at Friday’s Bastille Day celebration staged by the guild at Shoreditch Church.

“The East End has strong links to France right back to the 20,000 Huguenot refugees in the 17th century,” Krissie explained.

“Like Bastille Day, the East End has always been a place that stirs people to action and social reform.

“We got 11,000 names to our Downing Street petition before the budget which played a critical role in the growing uproar up and down the country about unfair rents and rates.”

Federation of Small Businesses’s Sue Terpilowski being forced out by rising rents in her Canary Wharf marketing consultancy. Picture: MIKE BROOKEFederation of Small Businesses’s Sue Terpilowski being forced out by rising rents in her Canary Wharf marketing consultancy. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

The mayors of Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney both backed the fight against exorbitant commercial rents and business rates.

Tower Hamlets has agreed to fund the guild’s research with the New Economics Foundation into the feasibility of a living commercial rent.

The two mayors want to make sure the Bishopsgate and Hackney Wick developments ‘lock in’ affordable business space.

"The Mayor of London has introduced a ‘London Living Rent’ following the London Living Wage. We want something similar on commercial rents"

Krissie Nicolson

Hackney’s Phillip Granville told the meeting: “Small businesses play a crucial role in east London that’s fundamental to our high streets and town centres, places to create aspiration and jobs in our community.”

The Federation of Small Businesses’ London policy chairman Sue Terpilowski has run her own PR and marketing consultancy for 29 years — but is now being forced out by rising rents, initially from Old Street ‘Tech City’ having relocated to cheaper premises at Canary Wharf’s South Quay, but now facing having to move again.

She said: “Small businesses are being forced out by new high-rise buildings with ridiculous rents. We’ve just been given notice to quit South Quay because it’s being turned into flats.”

Small businesses are suddenly finding rents doubling and trebling, Spitalfields Planning Forum has found, which would hit jobs.

It fears encroaching ‘corporates’ spell death to a community - but believes “East Enders have a habit of biting back”.

Latest East London News Stories

08:18

Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.

Yesterday, 15:17

One thousand people left their offices following a basement blaze in Canary Wharf this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:06

Campaigners have finally sunk plans for the controversial Enderby Wharf cruise-liner terminal going ahead which would have polluted a huge swathe of the Thames and the Isle of Dogs.

Yesterday, 11:00

An advice clinic set up as a temporary free service at Stratford following cuts to legal aid has won a funding contract for a permanent operation.

Tue, 18:00

Optician director Jayesh Maru has seen his way to the ancient mountain-top Inca capital of Machu Picchu and has found his way back to east London.

Tue, 13:36

Children have spent four years researching the life of a pupil at their school more than 100 years ago who was later awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after being killed in the First World War.

Tue, 09:54

Small businesses occupying railway arches in east London facing crippling rent rises as much as 350 per cent have been promised a tenants’ charter to safeguard their trading.

Tue, 09:00

The indie/folk band Bon Iver will close the second All Points East festival with a headline gig in Victoria Park on Sunday June 2.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now