Rent hikes - biggest threat to East London's independent businesses

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Landlords demanding astronomical rent increases from small businesses are eroding East London’s communities and way of life.

That’s the claim by The East End Trades Guild, which represents more than 250 independent businesses in the area. They say one trader was driven to suicide, others have left town after decades in business here and many more have huge worries for the future.

One Bethnal Green businesses has been threatened with a 275% rent hike or evection, Network Rail’s sale of commercial spaces to Blackstone could impact many local businesses and others ready to expand are struggling to find affordable space.

Krissie Nicolson, Director of the East End Trades Guild, said: “If space is eaten up by the biggest companies who can afford the highest rents it undermines the way we live and the way we work. It’s eroding our communities and our way of life.

Krissie Nicholson of the East End Trades Guild