High Street business fears

HIGH business rates, persistent tube closures, and the spectre of an increase in national insurance contributions, have left small businesses struggling to survive. That was the message of business leaders speaking at the official launch of Kilburn Busine

HIGH business rates, persistent tube closures, and the spectre of an increase in national insurance contributions, have left small businesses struggling to survive.

That was the message of business leaders speaking at the official launch of Kilburn Business Friends, a new organisation set up to provide a voice for businesses in the area.

In a speech at the event Anis Kapadia, secretary of the Kilburn Business Friends and manager of the Kodak shop in Kilburn High Road, said: "High business rates are bound to produce more shop closures, and these difficulties will be exacerbated by the national insurance hike.

"If things continue like this we will see the decimation of the high street. Policing is also a major concern. A smaller business cannot afford CCTV cameras or security guards, and thefts and robberies are a major problem."


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Kashif Zafrani, a committee member of the group, said the closure of tube lines in the area had posed a serious threat to businesses, and called for more concerted action to be taken to put pressure on the London Mayor to prevent further closures.

Politicians from all the major political parties attended the event at the Marriott hotel in Kilburn High Road, and parliamentary candidates from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives all pledged their support to the newly formed group.

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The next meeting of Kilburn Business Friends is on June 10 at the College of North West London.

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