Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, blogs about Islington’s thriving small business community ahead of Small Business Saturday.

It’s Small Business Saturday on 3rd December, and there’s no better time to celebrate the success and diversity of Islington’s small businesses. These businesses and the hard-working people behind them make a vital contribution to our local economy.

Small Business Saturday is a grassroots campaign which highlights the success of small businesses across the UK. It also encourages residents to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

From innovative start-ups to the antique shops lining Camden Passage, Islington has a diverse mix of small businesses. It’s vital that we continue to protect and boost these local businesses.

Although many small businesses in Islington are likely to see their business rates increase from April 2017 under the Tory Government, Islington Council is determined to work with our local business and trade organisations to mitigate the effect of the increase. We are writing to all businesses to advise them of the changes and providing ongoing advice and support on applying for relief.

We know that vibrant and diverse high streets and town centres play an important role in our communities and neighbourhoods. We successfully secured Greater London Authority (GLA) funding to support small businesses in our town centres to improve shop fronts and provide them with visual merchandising workshops. We will continue to look at ways we can work to strengthen and develop our high streets and town centres.

The local business community will be at the heart of the festive atmosphere as festive lights are switched on around Islington this weekend. Stroud Green Road have produced a trail to encourage residents to shop local. Shoppers will pick up a sticker in each local shop and, with at least six stickers, shoppers can claim a free drink at La Fabrica of Clapton Craft Brewery.

I would like to thank all the local businesses who have given up their time to make our festive events so successful. I encourage everyone to shop local and support their local businesses, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

Islington festive lights switch ons:

  • Thursday, 1 December -; Finsbury Park (Fonthill Road), 2.30pm-7pm, lights switch-on 4.30pm;
  • Friday, 2 December -; Archway (Archway Mall), 3.30pm-5.15pm, lights switch-on at 4.45pm;
  • Saturday, 3 December -; Nag’s Head (in and around the Nag’s Head shopping centre), 12 noon-5pm, lights switch on at 4.30pm.
  • Sunday 4 December -; Highbury Barn and Blackstock Road, 6pm
  • Wednesday 7 December -; Campdale Road and Tufnell Park Road, 4.30pm
  • Saturday 10 December -; Cally Road (Tilloch Street), 11am-5pm
  • Wednesday 28 December -; Menorah lights (Islington Green), 5pm-7pm


Pictured – Cllr Asima Shaikh and Vava Mouhtari, owner of Opera in Fonthill Road

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