It was my pleasure to open the Quirky Dovetail Market. There was such a fantastic display of local arts and crafts on sale, which demonstrated the truly incredible talents that local people have to offer.
Some businesses take their workplace mental health responsibilities very seriously. It was extremely insightful to talk to leaders of Talon, JCDecaux, Clear Channel Outdoor, Ocean Outdoor today, about what they’re doing to support employees’ mental health.
Tooting has so much to offer as a community and I was delighted to visit my friends in Tooting Market yesterday to talk about their businesses. From food to clothes to art, crafts and activities, there is a wonderful array of businesses in the market
Next time you're in the area, make sure to pop in and sample the market's delights, whether you need freshly squeezed juice3 or freshly stitched jeans. To hear from the traders themselves (and to see me in a funky hat!).
Today, Justin Madders MP and I met with the Retail trade union Usdaw and a group of retail workers in Westminster to talk about how the cost-of-living crisis, rising violence and abuse in stores, and the impact of Christmas holiday trade is affecting the mental health of customers and colleagues.
Far too many people are facing this Christmas period worried about how to provide for their families. With so many Usdaw members having their mental health impacted as a result of the cost-of-living crisis and increased levels of abuse in the workplace, it is deeply important that we, as politicians, take the time to listen.
Recently, I visited the fantastic team at Love Triangle, a brilliant pizza restaurant situated between Balham and Tooting Bec.
They’ve been selling pizza to the community for two and a half years now, but things are getting increasingly difficult.
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses hard, with customers having less money to spend to things such as meals out, and the cost of energy and supplies rising astronomically.
Will, who owns Love Triangle, told me that despite trying many different creative ways to stay afloat, things are only getting more difficult. Love Triangle have tried different opening times, and an array of different promotions and deals to help combat the challenges, but it is still far from easy, just to keep their head above water.
The rising cost of food and energy, coupled with the reduction in disposable income for many is proving a difficult picture to navigate.
Speaking to Will, and other business owners in our community, one message stands out. It is crucial to support local businesses where you can, or we risk losing more of our fantastic local businesses from Tooting, and across the country.
Watch my visit to Love Triangle here:
This week, we celebrated our fantastic women business owners in Tooting. Over the last two years, many women have felt a disproportionate economic hit. Women hold the key to supercharging our economy as we recover from the pandemic.
Today I was delighted to welcome Anneliese Dodds MP to Tooting and meet with women business owners. I believe it is essential that we recognise the significant contribution women make and commit to tackling the challenges that they still face today.
Also, we welcomed some of our community's many impressive business women and community leaders to Parliament. Tooting is home to so many - it's only right we back women in business.
Lastly, a big thank you to Sir Keir Starmer MP for hosting.
Today is Small Business Saturday and it is important to me to understand what it's like to run a local business, and the challenges and successes that people in our local community experience.
So I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into a shift at Tooting's famous flower stall with local legend Chris.
Chris was absolutely wonderful! Thank you for teaching me a few things about the flower industry! I’m looking forward to learning more.
Earlier this week I met with local small business owners to hear the issues affecting them.
From the insufficient support available to businesses that are non-direct ratepayers, to a lack of flexibility from landlords regarding rental payments, it is clear that the challenges Tooting small business owners are experiencing are considerable. Their resilience in the face of adversity is a credit to our community.
The concerns shared will inform my actions to ensure that small businesses remain the beating heart of Tooting. Please check back here for updates, and keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements of further events.