Fears grow for traders as two more stores close
PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:47 07 September 2010
Charlotte Newton IN THE week that Crouch End shoppers mourned the loss of Woolworths, two more treasured independent traders have become the latest victims of the credit crunch. As customers bought their final pick n mix and light blubs from Woolworths
IN THE week that Crouch End shoppers mourned the loss of Woolworths, two more treasured independent traders have become the latest victims of the credit crunch.
As customers bought their final pick 'n' mix and light blubs from Woolworths on Tuesday (January 6), residents were shocked to see two more businesses have closed in Crouch End.
Myers furniture shop next door, which has been in the Broadway for more than a decade, has closed down following a pre-Christmas sale of its stock. Meanwhile, the owner of Pick More Daisies in Crouch End Hill has pinned a note to his door to say that the Californian style restaurant has closed.
Lib Dem Cllr Dave Winskill says the empty premises in Crouch End are a travesty - and has called on Haringey Labour run council to show "stronger leadership" in these financially straitened times.
Mr Winskill said: "It became obvious during 2008 that the vitality of Crouch End as a shopping centre was starting to get rocky. Several businesses closed including Word Play (in May), the delicatessen opposite the post office - and Kingfisher travel agents.
He added: "Myers was one of the last furniture shops in Crouch End and not having it any more severely dilutes the overall offering of Crouch End as a shopping centre. It's likely that the decline of the housing market against the backdrop of high rents was the final nail in the coffin. This comes as Woolworths is closing down and Pick More Daisies has shut. Haringey Council needs to show greater leadership and offer some solution to small, independent shops."
Chris Freeman, of the Crouch End Traders' Association and owner of Dunns bakery said: "It's very sad because it was an interesting and different restaurant which was very reasonably priced. A lot of residents will miss it."
Cllr Kaushika Amin, Haringey cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "The closure of Woolworths is obviously a loss, but I'm hopeful that this prime site will prove attractive to another retailer.
"We are in very difficult economic times and many independent shops are facing a real struggle to survive. That is why the council is taking action to support local shops and businesses.
"We sent all small businesses details and an application for small business rate relief. We already extend rate relief to more than 2,000 local businesses, and are targeting others. The council is also planning to meet local bank managers to discuss support for small businesses.
"The powers of a local council to support businesses directly are limited. We have no control over commercial leases and rents for example. But we are doing everything we can to support our retailers. Local people can play their part too. It really is a case of use them or lose them.
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