Camden’s high streets initiative is to be welcomed

Friday, 14th January

• JANUARY is proving to be yet another tough month for small businesses.

For almost two years now small business owners have been battling with the devastating impact of the pandemic and too often support from this Conservative government has fallen short.

So I was impressed to see that Camden Council has launched the “Camden Future High Streets Crowdfund” to help support small businesses in the borough.

This project sees the council match donations from the public, donations which will be invested into initiatives to help rejuvenate Camden’s high streets.

Whether Queen’s Crescent and Highgate village or Kentish Town and Hampstead high street, this project can certainly help our high streets to bounce back this year. There’s plenty of information online on how you can get involved.

This comes on top of the council’s successful efforts to repurpose outdoor space so local cafés and restaurants can more easily provide outdoors service to customers.

But there is a lot more we should do. The government needs to scrap business rates, which unfairly punish the high street.

My Dad used to manage a small business and time and again he told me that business rates are a mess and that they hit independent businesses hardest. Change here is long overdue.

Locally we have to ensure our high streets are both business- and customer-friendly environments. Ensuring our high streets are vibrant and enjoyable places to spend our time is essential to supporting existing businesses; and for welcoming new ones too.

In the meantime we can all try to shop local in Camden. It will make a big difference!

LLOYD HATTON
Address supplied, NW5

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