Labour is committed to supporting local small businesses at this difficult time. At a national level Labour is committed to scrapping business rates and replacing them with a system designed to better to support small business. But we don’t have to wait for a Labour Government to give small businesses in Westminster, the heartbeat of our local communities, the help they need.
If Labour win Westminster Council in May 2022 we will put local business and social enterprises at the heart of the Council’s economic strategy, with an approach to community wealth building focused on supporting growth and wellbeing across all parts of our city, learning from innovators like Manchester and Preston.
We will develop an integrated strategy to strengthen our local high streets involving economic development, public realm improvements, planning reform, action on anti-social behaviour and fly tipping. We will focus on protecting the areas our residents rely on such as Harrow Road, Queensway, Westbourne Grove, Lupus Street, Edgware Road, Clifton Gardens, Elgin Avenue, Kilburn Lane, Formosa Street, Berwick Street and Shirland Road. These local centres are a central part of our 15-minute city vision outlined in Labour’s recent Green New Deal for Westminster.
We will also fight to protect the wider West End from over-commercialisation and the dominance of chain outlets. We will examine all practical measures to reverse this decline and protect the West End’s unique character built around a diverse range of small businesses and cultural venues.
As we prepare for the 2022 Council elections Labour will unveil its vision for building a better Westminster, with an exciting package of measures to revitalise our local communities and support local business. Some of the key changes we would deliver if we were to win in May include:
- Making it easier for local small businesses to work with the council by requiring Westminster to review how contracts can better involve and support more local small businesses and the voluntary sector
- Taking over empty shops to bring life back into our local high streets, supporting the development of community pop ups and new small businesses
- Creating more low-cost flexible workspace which can be easily booked by local businesses
- Supporting local businesses in council properties by keeping rents at manageable levels
- Protecting Westminster’s street markets with an urgent review of recently-increased pitch fees,
Westminster Labour Group Leader Cllr Adam Hug said “Labour is committed to building a better Westminster focused on the needs of our local communities. Supporting small businesses and social enterprises are central to that approach, boosting local employment and bringing our local areas to life.”
Shadow Cabinet Member for Business Cllr Geoff Barraclough said “Having a diverse mix of small shops, independent restaurants, interesting venues, innovative start-ups and friendly local businesses are a huge part of what makes Westminster a great place to live and Labour will do what we can to make it even better.