Traders and council join forces to fight recession
William Stolerman HELP is at hand for local traders in Camden who are battling the recession. The Love Your Local High Street scheme has been launched by the council to promote business and increase appreciation for the range of goods and services availab
HELP is at hand for local traders in Camden who are battling the recession.
The Love Your Local High Street scheme has been launched by the council to promote business and increase appreciation for the range of goods and services available on the doorstep.
Already big names have rallied to the call. West Hampstead actress Emma Thompson said: "I have lived in Camden all my life. The unique nature of the high streets in this area is one of the things I love most about living here.
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"I would urge everyone to explore their local high street and see what they can find."
The campaign was launched on Monday (June 15) at The Hampstead Tea Rooms on South End Road in Belsize Park.
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Dozens of local traders turned up to hear about the help being offered to them, which includes marketing assistance and the creation of an advisory body to offer cost-saving tips and suggestions to boost profits. Information is also available on rate relief, and a directory of local businesses called the Love Camden Guide is being compiled. This will be distributed to households throughout the borough.
Council leaders Keith Moffitt and Andrew Marshall were both at the launch event in Hampstead. They are adamant the council can help inspire a revival in the local economy.
"We are committed to helping the local businesses on our high streets lead us out of recession," said Cllr Moffitt.
"Businesses have told us they would like dedicated council support with marketing. Our high streets have a fantastic range of unique shops and cafes. That's why we are launching the Love Your Local High Street campaign to encourage local people and visitors to come to our high streets and shop locally."
Cllr Marshall added: "We are working closely with businesses to offer the extra support that they need during this difficult time. We are introducing a raft of measures, including business skills and marketing training for small and medium businesses, and investing in improving the shopping environment on our high streets."
One example of this is the 'pop-up shop' idea, which has already started in Camden Town. Boarded-up shops will be used for more useful activities, rather than sitting empty.
Jonathan Bergman, chairman of the South End Green Traders' Association, has praised the efforts of the council.
He said that the interaction with traders was helpful as it was a "hands-on attempt, rather than an endeavour with a faceless bureaucracy".