More than 50 local business owners from across Tooting, Balham, Wandsworth and Earlsfield came to Parliament to take part in an event hosted by Sadiq Khan MP. Guests were joined by the Shadow Minister for Small Businesses Toby Perkins MP, the Deputy Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Richard Field as well as the Chair of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, Steve Pinto.
The event was a rare opportunity which saw business owners from all corners of Tooting, come together in one place. Beauticians, bakers, electricians, photographers, printers, pharmacists and many more joined their local MP to discuss the big issues affecting small businesses in the area, such as high business rates, parking, and the need for local businesses to support one another.
Guests listened to speeches from the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, Earlsfield Business Network, Tooting Town Centre Partnership and Business Launchpad, about the work they are doing to support small businesses, and how new businesses can get involved.
The event was part of a number of a wider campaign Sadiq Khan is leading to support local businesses, such as the Save Our High Street campaign, which calls for the local community and business owners to be given more say on the shape of the high street, as well as calling for more police presence on the high street, and more action on parking.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“When Napoleon said Britain was a nation of shopkeepers, he could have been talking about Tooting. Small businesses really are the heart and soul of Tooting, and Wandsworth, and I was extremely proud to see such a variety of small business owners from across the borough willing to dedicate their time to working together to support their fellow business owners.
“Organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Business Launchpad and the Tooting Town Centre Partnership are doing a fantastic job of fighting on behalf of our small business owners and improving our high streets for everyone. This event was a great opportunity for them to share information about the work they do with businesses they’ve not previously been involved with. It’s great to see local businesses wanting to collaborate with one another to improve their businesses and our community. The council, Mayor and government should be supporting them.
“It was a real pleasure to welcome so many small business owners to Parliament, and I look forward to continuing to support them in the future.”
Chair of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, Steve Pinto, said:
“Wandsworth Chamber and their members were delighted to be invited by the Rt Hon Sadiq Khan to a business reception at the House of Commons on the 1st of July. The speakers were excellent and gave a great overview of the business needs in the borough and ways in which we can all collaborate. This was a great initiative from Sadiq and our thanks are extended to him.”
Sajid Ali, owner of Prime Homes, Tooting, said:
“An informative evening , allowing attendees to acquaint themselves with many other business owners in the area who had never met before despite trading in the same borough for several years and also providing an opportunity to raise issues with parliamentarians present on national policy effecting small businesses.”
Elizabeth Jones, owner of Natures Purest Balham, said:
“I attended the event hosted by Sadiq Khan MP as possibly the youngest small business as I started trading on the 21st June 2014! I got to find out about local schemes and initiatives that I had not previously heard about. I was also delighted to attend as I got to meet some local traders from Balham as well as in the neighbouring areas. It was great to see names of shops and companies I knew on the list of attendees. It is always great to put a face to a name or Twitter account. Meeting the people behind local businesses there has added to meeting local chairs of organisations and local customers, which has certainly made me feel welcome here in the High Road.”
Sadiq with the owners of Glamorous Puds, Trinity Road.
Terence from the Earlsfield Business Network and Indrajit Patel from Tooting Town Centre Partnership address the guests.
Sadiq with Caroline and Camille from Business Launchpad.
Sadiq with the owners of the Indian Tourist Company.