POP-UP SHOP FOR BUDDING PENGE ENTREPRENEURS / LAMBETH ‘UNITED AGAINST BUSINESS RATES RISE’
A brand new venture designed to support business growth in Penge is being opened by the Mayor of Bromley, Cllr Ian Payne on Saturday 18 March.
Pengetout is a pop-up shop and workspace where nine new and expanding local businesses will share space to sell interesting products and services. There is still an opportunity for new traders to get involved in the year-long initiative by renting space and they are invited to make contact.
The project is being delivered by Sally Williams from Retail Revival Ltd, a company well used to opening pop-up shops in London. She has received a lot of interest from potential traders.
“We have put together nine local entrepreneurs selling an eclectic mix of products including Danish clothing and jewellery, retro teak furniture, gifts, paintings and haberdashery supplies.
“We will also deliver a programme of craft workshops from the premises for people of all ages to learn or improve their skills” said Sally Williams.
The project is funded by Bromley council and as part of their ‘Penge, Open for Business’ programme which also provides free training and support to new and existing local businesses.
Cllr Peter Morgan, Bromley’s executive councillor for renewal, said: “There is already real zest for new business start-ups in Penge and across our borough and this initiative gives another platform to bring some of these fledgling businesses forwards.
“The increase in online sales and high business overheads is making it much harder for independent businesses to trade on the high street.Pengetout will enable new and expanding businesses to test local response to their products in a low-risk trading environment and bring about an even more diverse high street and hopefully impact positively on our existing businesses too.”
The Mayor will cut a ribbon to officially declare the venture open at 10.15am. There will be celebration cakes and juices for visitors to the shop on the day and children are invited to participate in a programme of craft activities with a Mother’s Day theme.
There is still an opportunity for new traders to get involved by renting space in the shop or by delivering classes or activities in the rear room of the premises. For further information please visit Pengetout, 109 High Street, Penge, SE20 7DT or telephone Sally Williams 07889 173101.
Pengetout is funded through Bromley Council’s New Homes Bonus.The shop will be open for one year and it is expected that up to 20 local businesses will benefit from test trading and associated business support including advice with digital marketing, promotion, sales and business planning. The Programme Manager Sally Williams, Retail Revival, can be contacted on 07889 173101 or [email protected] (Source: Bromley council press release)
LAMBETH ‘UNITED AGAINST BUSINESS RATES RISE’
Lambeth’s politicians and business representatives have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to step in and provide relief from the impending rise in business rates in his budget speech.
Leader of Lambeth Council Cllr Lib Peck, along with the borough’s Business Improvement Districts and MPs Helen Hayes and Chuka Umunna, have written to Philip Hammond ahead of his budget speech due tomorrow afternoon.
Businesses of all sizes have joined the council in campaigning against the potentially huge rise in Business Rates due to come into force next month, warning that the extra charges could cripple many independent businesses and damage Lambeth’s thriving small business environment.
The letter included testimony from business owners in Lambeth and pointed out that small independent businesses in successful schemes like POP Brixton are facing rates rises of more than 200%, threatening to stifle enterprise and hurt the local economy.
Although local authorities like Lambeth must collect business rates, the majority go to central government, and the way it is redistributed means Lambeth will not see a penny of the extra money, meaning no local benefit.
Sign our petition to the Secretary of State, against the rate rise!
We are writing to you regarding the upcoming revaluation in business rates, which will cause huge rate hikes for many of the businesses in the London Borough of Lambeth. We urge you to consider the impact that this rise will have on businesses in Lambeth, across London and in other parts of the country.
The delayed revaluation of business rates and the subsequent rise in property prices means that many businesses in Lambeth will be hit by the maximum rise in rates in the first year, with significant rises after that as well. The 43% cap is of little consolation to those that have to find thousands of pounds in additional rates, on top of other costs for businesses that are rising all the time.
Lambeth is home to thousands of excellent businesses and has been one of the fastest growing boroughs in London in recent years for new business growth. These new measures put that at risk, threatening our economy and putting at risk London’s impressive track record for enterprise, employment and business growth.
Businesses cannot fairly be expected to pay such huge rises, particularly with such little notice. Many Lambeth employers have expressed real concern about how they can carry on if faced with such a huge burden. Our local Business Improvement Districts have worked extremely hard to raise awareness among their members about these rises and they are clear that they will be detrimental to the economy.
Hundreds of residents and local businesses have expressed their concern about this and their opposition to the business rates rises. We have included just some of the comments below:
Dominic Lake, Founder of Canteen restaurant, on the South Bank, said: “How serious is it? Very serious. Does it keep me up at night? Yes it does, because I’m responsible for 150 people just in my small business. If my cost base rises – and there is a threshold I can charge for any of the items on our menu – there’s a crunch. It’s a very serious commercial impact, not just for my business but any business in hospitality.”
Scott Leonard, Founder & Creative Director at The Champion Agency in Brixton, said: “SMEs face the most uncertainty they’ve ever faced – we’re in a very uncertain period within the country – to then levy them with a tax of up to 30% higher than what they’re currently paying is not acceptable.”
Javier Moreno, owner of Café Barcelona in Streatham, said: “Small business owners who are actually the ones who create the community, who build up the neighbourhood, who make the economy grow, are going to struggle a lot after this increase.”
John Bigos, Managing Director at London Duck Tours, based on the South Bank, said: “Lambeth are doing a great job in trying to stimulate business and encourage people to come into the borough. How do I square off the new drive to bring employment to Lambeth with just over 30% increase in our rates bill without any justification?”
These are not multi-nationals making huge profits that can absorb such rises. Many are small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy and these increases will put that at risk.
These are just a handful of examples. In our town centres, we see independent businesses fearful of the rise while supermarkets benefit from a business rates cut. We see such inconsistencies all across our borough. For examples, a recently established site in central Brixton, that is home to around 20 small, independent start-up businesses run by enterprising and hard-working entrepreneurs has proved incredibly successful and popular. Yet it is due to be hit by massive rises in rates of over 200%.
We see similar anomalies across our town centres, with independent retailers and night-time venues in particular facing significant and inconsistent rises in business rates. That threatens their future and could no doubt turn people off even attempting to start a business in the current environment. We are sure you would agree that this is exactly the opposite of what this country needs if we are to build a truly progressive, enterprising and sustainable economy.
We support calls for the fundamental reform of the business rates system to ease the burden on traditional high streets and town centres in the age of online shopping and hope this will form part of your Budget announcements. However, with businesses due to receive their rates bills in the next month, there is a pressing need for immediate action. We urge you to listen to these businesses and to the voices of all those who expressed their concern at this policy, including the Federation of Small Businesses, London Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor of London, and act now to protect our businesses from these huge rate rises.
Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council
Helen Hayes MP, Dulwich & West Norwood
Chuka Umunna MP, Streatham
South Bank Employers’ Group
South Bank Business Improvement District
South Bank Partnership
This Is Clapham BID
The council is campaigning alongside the Lambeth’s Business Improvement Districts against the rates rise and has written to every business in the borough alerting them to the impending increase, and suggesting how they can make representations to government.
A London-wide campaign is also underway, supported by Lambeth council and backed by the capital’s Mayor Sadiq Khan along with London Councils, London First, London Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses London and New West End Company, with 37 additional groups including 32 London BIDS.
London businesses are set to pay an additional £855 million in business rates every year, while businesses in much of the rest of the country will see rates decrease in real terms. (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)
CROYDON JOIN FORCES WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES TO FIGHT RATES REVALUATION
Croydon council have joined forces with local businesses and written to the government calling on it to stop its attack on small companies and rethink its business rates revaluation.
“Under the current plans Croydon firms will see an average 19 per cent increase in their business rates, in addition to other costs being imposed such as the apprenticeship levy, auto enrolment for pensions and insurance premium tax” said a council spokeswoman.
“The letter to Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, exposes the devastating impact the planned increase will have on small businesses in Croydon.
“The intended rates revaluation, coupled with the other additional costs, will result in many Croydon businesses struggling to meet the increased bills, which will stunt the borough’s growth and slow investment and job creation at a time when confidence and stability are crucial to Croydon’s economic success.
“In addition to Cllr Mark Watson, Croydon’s cabinet member for economy and jobs, signatories to the letter include representatives from the Croydon Business Network, which includes the local business improvement districts (BIDs), Croydon Tech City, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.
“The unprecedented, jointly written letter calls on valuations in London to be separated from the national valuation system to prevent the capital’s businesses facing a disproportionate rate increase; and for the government to work in collaboration with the council on a system that is fairer for the borough’s businesses.”
Councillor Watson said: “The proposed business rates increase leaves Croydon businesses in an extremely vulnerable position at a time when they should be being supported.
“Croydon council stand side by side with local businesses and calls on the Secretary of State to stop this attack and rethink the disproportionate increase it is proposing.