Search

Brick Lane businesses struggling with high rents and rates

PUBLISHED: 18:07 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 19 June 2018

Matthew Kim owner of Holy Shot coffee shop tells City Hall chiefs about the challenges small businessmen and women face. Pic: JON KING

Matthew Kim owner of Holy Shot coffee shop tells City Hall chiefs about the challenges small businessmen and women face. Pic: JON KING

Archant

“We’re killing ourselves to earn a living.”

The walkabout took in businesses around Brick Lane and Bethnall Green Road inclusing The Broken Palace. Pic: JON KING The walkabout took in businesses around Brick Lane and Bethnall Green Road inclusing The Broken Palace. Pic: JON KING

That was the message about the cost of doing trade that independent small business owners sent city hall chiefs visiting Brick Lane and Bethnal Green today (June 19).

Matthew Kim, owner of the Holy Shot coffee shop in Bethnal Green Road, said: “It’s unjustified how expensive rents are. It seems as if big companies come in and rents double.”

Steve Dobkin of Bacon Street Salvage meets the London Assembly members. Pic: JON KING Steve Dobkin of Bacon Street Salvage meets the London Assembly members. Pic: JON KING

He called for more support for small business owners pointing out four neighbouring shops in the street lying empty after businesses folded.

Steve Dobkin of Bacon Street Salvage shocked the London Assembly members when he revealed his business’s rent had skyrocketed from £15,000 a year 20 years ago to £107,000 today.

Philip Pittack, the co-owner of textiles firm Crescent Trading, explains the impact of high rents and business rates. Pic: JON KING Philip Pittack, the co-owner of textiles firm Crescent Trading, explains the impact of high rents and business rates. Pic: JON KING

Philip Pittack of textiles firm Crescent Trading in Quaker Street said: “Nobody wants to help us because we’re too small. We are working twice as hard as we did two years ago just to stand still.

“We’re not destitute, but we’re killing ourselves to earn a living.”

Every trader called for a business rate reduction and support over rent to help them survive.

City hall’s economy committee chairman Susan Hall described it as a sad situation getting worse with rents continuing to rise.

Green AM Caroline Russell argued businesses needed protecting from developers who close roads and pavements during building work – hitting traders’ profits.

The hour-long walkabout was organised by small business group the East End Trades Guild which represents 90 shops, 32 eateries, eight markets and 93 services firms.

The Guild is also involved with campaign group Guardians of the Arches battling to stop the sale of Network Rail arches that are home to many small businesses.

It is calling for affordable work spaces and a London working rent along the lines of the London living rent which lowers the price of renting a home for some earners.

Director Krissie Nicholson said high rent was the most important issue facing 300 small business owners the Guild spoke to.

“It’s important we take action on this because small scale businesses are essential to the life of the community. It’s an urgent problem,” she said.

The city hall chiefs were surveying small business owners to find out how to support them.

Latest East London News Stories

24 minutes ago

A little boy’s busted lip has been taken up as the first case being dealt with by a new advice service on the Isle of Dogs.

13:01

A two-metre-long snake took pedestrians by surprise when it was found in the street yesterday.

11:09

A paedophile who preyed on ‘vulnerable’ children for more than 30 years has been jailed.

11:04

Women travelling alone on buses in Whitechapel were flashed on two separate occasions, police said.

Celebrity scientist, Professor Brian Cox, ran his seventh summer school in Tower Hamlets yesterday.

07:00

A double world record holding environmental activist is appealing for volunteers to help get rid of plastic waste.

Yesterday, 17:24

Tower Hamlets is one of the worst boroughs in London for wasting water, according to a new report on the affordability of fresh drinking water across the capital.

Yesterday, 17:00

A pensioner’s body lay undiscovered by carers for three days after he died following a fall at home.

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