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Small traders will need help in the difficult times ahead

PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:33 07 September 2010

The governor of the Bank of England confirmed on Tuesday night what everyone in the country has known for a long time - we are in the grip of an economic recession. Small traders and retailers - of whom there is a disproportionate number in these parts -

The governor of the Bank of England confirmed on Tuesday night what everyone in the country has known for a long time - we are in the grip of an economic recession.

Small traders and retailers - of whom there is a disproportionate number in these parts - are among those who will come under most pressure in the months ahead.

Larger companies, if properly managed, should have the reserves to see them through what should be a rocky 12 months. But the smaller independents, who help give this part of north London its distinctive charm, operate on much tighter balance sheets.

They will need all the help and support they can get, and we could all do worse than spending a few pounds with them when doing our Christmas shopping, instead of heading towards central London or relying on the internet.

Last week, Camden Council leader Keith Moffitt and deputy Andrew Marshall indicated that they want to do all they can to minimise the impact of the financial crisis on the borough's residents. It is very important that they do, but our small traders need help too.

There are many things that could be looked at - including the relaxation of parking restrictions in Hampstead and other areas during the vital Christmas trading period. We want and need our small outlets to survive. Without them, much of the unique atmosphere which characterises Ham&High territory, and makes it so special, would be lost forever.

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