FSB survey to find out just how friendly town halls are in helping local traders

PUBLISHED: 14:57 18 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:57 18 September 2014

Missed chances... Brick Lane facing quiet afternoon lack of business during 2012 Olympics

Missed chances... Brick Lane facing quiet afternoon lack of business during 2012 Olympics


Every firm in London is being asked how business friendly their local authority is working on their behalf.

The survey is ahead of the second annual ‘Small Business Friendly Council’ awards on November 12.

It comes in the wake of traders around Spitalfields and Shoreditch fighting a running battle with chain stores and City conglomerates encroaching into London’s East End, forcing up rents and business rates.

Many individuals have faced going to the wall, claiming lack of support from local authorities.

In the past two years, they have set up their own guild and are backing the establishment of local planning forums aimed at curtaining City expansion into their neighbourhoods.

Town halls have the power to help small traders who make up 99 per cent of London’s economy, the Federation of Small Businesses points out.

“Successful independent and unique traders act as a draw to local areas,” FSB London Region’s Steve Warwick said. “It’s where businesses thrive and attract local staff, offering training and apprenticeships that lead to real jobs. It’s where families want to come to live and work.”

Businesses along the East End’s unique Brick Lane ‘Curry Mile’ felt left out in 2012, claiming Tower Hamlets Council hadn’t done enough to draw Olympic crowds to Spitalfields. Many restaurants remained empty during the Games fortnight. Many recall the 2012 Olympics being a lost opportunity for them.

The FSB’s survey is now seeking “frank assessments” of business-friendly policies. Their research shows that 63p in every £1 spent with a small business is re-spent in the local area, compared to 40p with a larger business.

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