Countdown to Small Business Saturday 3rd December!

Countdown to Small Business Saturday 3rd December!

The Guild celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party at the Bishopsgate Institute last Wednesday 23rd November where covers for uniquely designed guides of members were unveiled. These guides will be distributed on Small Business Saturday 3rd December via all bricks and mortar businesses listed as well as civic groups, and hotels.

15,000 residents in Waltham Forest will receive a map as the centre fold in the Waltham Forest Echo this week which has supported this visibility-raising initiative along with Tower Hamlets Council, Hackney Council, CBG Law, Waltham Print,  The Stow Bothers and Wood Street Walls.

To enhance community wealth suppliers for these distinctive guides are all members of the Guild located within the three east London Boroughs where the majority of Guild members operate from. For the first time in its six years, the Tower Hamlets guide includes the Bengali language. The London Bangla Press Club and Bengali East End Heritage Society supported the Guild with the translation. Founding member Rob Ryan created the artwork, co-operative Aldgate Press has printed thousands of copies for carbon-free delivery company Crisp Street Delivers – Zedify to distribute this week!

In Hackney Estelle Morris and Richard South from Duplikat Press took care of the artwork and the eco-friendly risograph printing while zero-emissions Zhero is getting the maps out to their comrades. Last but by no means least Sam Brewster and Matt Curtis created the beautiful map for Waltham Forest.

Sam Brewster with his design for Waltham Forest by Rachel Ferriman.

Co-Founder of the Guild The Gentle Author of internationally popular Spitalfields Life kicked off last Wednesday’s proceedings with an illustrated lecture on the genesis of the Guild and will lead a walk, this Saturday revealing the diverse histories of the shops that make Spitalfields, and telling the story of the origins of the traditional heartland for small traders and independent endeavours. A much coveted Guild tote bag with the new East End Independent’s maps and small gifts from Guild members nearby is included. Refreshments will be served at the end of the tour.


CR Ashbee’s symbol for the Guild Of Handicraft, 1889. Photograph by Rachel Ferriman.

Since the founding assembly in 2012 the EETG’s achievements have included a 10,600-strong petition for a campaign demanding that central government act on business rates after the 2017 re-evaluation. As part of the national effort, members contributed to winning a £300m fund from Government for councils to provide discretionary relief with £27m Business Rates Reliefs to Hackney, the council with the steepest rise of business rates in the whole of the UK.

The Guild has won a seat at the table with decision-makers at local councils, and the Greater London Authority including an audience with Sadiq Khan and with landlords too. The Guild has built a more powerful voice for members to negotiate for fair rent and support before and during the pandemic with three successive lockdowns. As a Government Gateway, the Guild also provided 61 work placements to local young people with members.

The EETG Cultural group is a new internal caucus that was formed during the pandemic and is led by and for ethnic minority members to support each other. The group was supported by the Near Neighbours small grants fund earlier in the year and is currently totally self-reliant. Five members of the group presented on Wednesday revealing why it started and what they are currently working on. They were Hennretta Cyrile –The Power of Talk, Nadia Abbass – Stooki, Susanne Nicholas – SuAura, Anita Akiwudike – Nita’s Designs and Margeret Asare – EyeLondon Opticians.  The new Cultural Group  Monthly Market will be at 129- 131 Mare Street London E8 3RH this Sunday 4th December and Sunday 18th  December between 11am and 4pm. You can also catch them at Liberia on 9th and 10th of December from 6pm to 8.30pm,  65 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP.


EETG Cultural Group Members: Hennretta Cyrile -The Power of Talk, Nadia Abbass – Stooki, Susanne Nicholas – SuAura, Anita Akiwudike – Nita’s Designs and Margeret Asare – EyeLondon Opticians by Rachel Ferriman.

As well as the Cultural Group other areas of current work include replacing the Kickstart Scheme and developing a small business-led Community Land Trust. Officers Dujon Harvey – Head of Employment, Skills & Adult Learning and Michael Toyer – Economic Development Manager at Hackney Council confirmed that they are working in partnership with the Guild towards a roundtable in February to this end.  Cllr Abu Chowdhury – Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Growth at Tower Hamlets assured the room that Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s promise to name a council officer to engage in our ambition for a Small Business led Community land trust and affordable commercial space more generally will be announced before Christmas.

“The meaning of Small Business is that relationships can be sustained; staff, neighbours, residents and suppliers actually know each other which in turn means greater accountability and therefore better, more responsible business practices than the global corporations. EETG member businesses are community wealth builders, cultural producers, and social connectors creating economic resilience in these uncertain times. The Guild’s beautiful guides made to celebrate our members on Small Business Saturday are the perfect companion for the discerning consumer.  They have everything you might need from nail and hair salons to art galleries, sustainable food growers, bakeries, pubs and bars, the most one-of-a-kind fashion accessories and Christmas presents you could hope for. Spending with our members means that your money directly supports the community in East London through these difficult times.” Krissie Nicolson, EETG Director.

Listings about where you can pick up your copy of East End Independents will be published on Wednesday.

Joe Mercer – Signature Brewery by Rachel Ferriman.
Ed Taylor – Square Root Soda by Rachel Ferriman

Special thanks to Rachel Ferriman for these lovely photographs of the event, to Ed Taylor from Square Root Soda and Joe Mercer from Signature Brew Haggerston who ran the bar all night and supplied drinks too. We were very well stocked with additional beer from Exale and Five Points Brewing Company. And a big shout out to Oitij-Jo Canteen, The Keto Bakery, Knead a Little Love, e5 Bakery, Flat Earth Pizza and 4COSE for all the food which disappeared very quickly!