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Clapham Junction businesses appeal for local community to help them through coronavirus crisis

By Rafi Mauro-Benady

Independent businesses have released a short film as a cry for help asking residents to support them.

Nine small businesses in and around Clapham Junction have got together to release a short film called Local – The new normal?, released on June 9 claiming that local shopping should be the new norm.

The film features the business owners pleading for people to support their local community and keep them afloat.

The businesses, including a butcher, a barber and a wine shop, have united behind the message “we were here for you, now it’s your turn to be here for us,” in an attempt to save their livelihoods.

The film says local businesses have done everything in their power to support residents during lockdown.

And now the onus is on the locals to support them as much as they can, as many of them are on the cusp of closure.

It runs for three minutes and features nine of the 420 businesses in the Clapham Junction area.

Executive Director of The Clapham Junction Business Improvement District, The Junction BID, Roz Lloyd-Williams, said: “The next few months will be critical for our businesses.

“We would sorely miss them if they were to disappear. Now, more than ever, we need to pull together.”

She said that local businesses were essential to the Clapham Junction area.

She said: “The local economy and small independents underpin the infrastructure of the area – they give Clapham Junction its distinct identity and rich character.

“They support our local employment, community and our charitable institutions.”

Alessandro Grappelli, 47, owner of Italian restaurant Taverna Trastevere in St John’s Hill said the community supported him during lockdown, and despite having to furlough half his staff, the restaurant is “ok”.

He said: “I guess that a synergy is really important in any sort of small community feeling.”

“These things are getting lost in time and we should take a break and get back to normality where people are shopping locally and are actually coming out of their houses to spend their money in the local shops, instead of sitting at home and buying everything online.”

The initial plan was to shoot a simple film on an iPhone, but this evolved into a much larger project aimed at proving how the small independent businesses in Clapham Junction have risen to the challenges presented during the pandemic.

The Junction BID covers the immediate areas such as Clapham Junction Station, Lavender Hill, and Battersea Rise.

The film can be viewed here.

Pictured top: Alessandro Grappelli, owner of Taverna Trastevere

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