Outside the FC Designer Collective store,(from left) Boaz Otudeko, Sarah Hill, Cllr Asima Shaikh, Fashion-Enter CEO Jenny Holloway and Tricia Blake-2

Small Business Saturday: spending money locally this festive season

With Christmas on the horizon, Islington Council is encouraging residents to spend their money at local, independent businesses to keep our high streets thriving.

Small Business Saturday takes place this week (Saturday, 4 December). It is an annual, national event highlighting the importance of independent traders and encouraging residents to support the businesses in their local neighbourhoods.

Islington’s small and independent businesses are the lifeblood of its communities and neighbourhoods, providing a huge range of unique goods and services at great value and convenience for local people. After a difficult period for independent retailers and hospitality venues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, choosing to spend money in a way that boosts the local economy and pays local people is more important than ever.

On Small Business Saturday, Fonthill Road in Finsbury Park will be temporarily closed to motor traffic (between Lennox Road and Wells Terrace), to make way for a one-off Festive Fashion Market. The market is being organised by Fashion-Enter, whose focus on ethical garment manufacturing has seen it become a close partner of Islington Council at the FC Designer Workspace. The market will showcase a unique mix of clothes and accessories from local makers who have been able to develop their skills and businesses, whilst working from the council’s affordable workspace, at the heart of the Andover Estate.

In addition, Fonthill Road traders are purchasing and wrapping 300 books, which will be given to children on the day by Mrs Santa Claus. Plus, ethical food delivery co-operative Wings will be handing out free mince pies donated by local supermarkets. There will be festive crafts and family activities on offer, and the Mayor of Islington will be switching on the Finsbury Park festive lights outside London Fashion Centre at 16:30.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, said: “A pound spent at a small business is worth three times what that same pound is worth if you spend it at a chain. In Islington there are so many fantastic options if you want to support a local business with your money. We are spoilt for choice with the variety of shops and traders, the wonderful selection of cultural venues, and the huge range of hospitality businesses where we all love to eat and drink. Our local economy is full of individuality and we should not take that for granted.

“We know that the last year has been tough on our fantastic high streets and town centres. December is always a really important month for both retail and hospitality venues as people are out and about to buy gifts and to treat themselves to food and drink. So, I encourage everyone to do just that, but also to think about how they can do so safely. We are working with businesses to make sure they are Covid safe, and we hope that customers will wear masks to keep themselves and others protected.”

Residents who want to support their local businesses by shopping online can use the council’s directory of local businesses’ websites, MyVirtualNeighbourhood.

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Access Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000