Council delivers £1.5m support package to help local businesses


The UK’s cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on businesses. Rising energy and fuel costs are pushing many companies to breaking point and forcing customers to cut back on their spending.

Zaza, a family-run artisan café on West Hendon Broadway, has benefited from our support.

Zaza, a family-run artisan café on West Hendon Broadway, has benefited from our support.

Following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic small businesses are particularly vulnerable with supply chain issues affecting 54% or 2.1 million across the UK in the last 12 months.

Micro-businesses are the engine of Barnet’s economy making up 94% of the borough’s 25,840 active enterprises.

Barnet Council is committed to helping these businesses grow and thrive and has launched a £1.5m support package that will reach almost 1,000 companies across the borough.

Free to Barnet businesses, the package includes targeted support for some of the main town centres such as Burnt Oak and West Hendon Broadway.

Outreach across the high street has included business health checks, mentoring and workshops in digital marketing and social media. Zaza, a family-run artisan café on West Hendon Broadway was one of the first to benefit from this support.

“We know things are especially hard for people at the moment, but we think our café can provide them with a little lift! My brother and I run the Zaza Artisan Café, and we love great coffee and food.

“We’ve always had an Instagram account, but we hadn’t updated it very often. It wasn’t until we sat down with a business mentor to talk about how social media can help us tell our story and showcase our amazing food and drinks that we took the time to do it right. Our mentor taught us how to use hashtags and Twitter which we did not have before. We received expert advice from people with first-hand business experience and it helped us reach new customers,” says Duygu Ozen, owner of Zaza Café, West Hendon."

Similar practical support is now getting going in Finchley Central and North Finchley town centres, with even more available borough wide:

  • Key workplace skills for employees in health and safety, food hygiene, English language and much more from Barnet and Southgate College.
  • Business growth masterclasses in sales, marketing, finance and digital skills for business owners from Middlesex University.
  • Training, expert bidding advice and opportunities to meet developers and buyers for companies providing goods, site services (e.g., building, catering, cleaning, repair and maintenance, security, etc.) and technical support to the construction sector.

Barnet’s new administration is committed to supporting businesses and recently appointed a new Small Business Champion, Councillor Anne Clarke, ward member for Cricklewood.

"We understand the significant challenges that local businesses face and are committed to help them get through the current difficulties following the pandemic and with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Since the start of the pandemic, the council has paid out over £118m in grants to almost 3,000 businesses.

“This new £1.5m business support package is the biggest offer the council has made to local enterprises. It offers something for everyone, from financial advice and employee upskilling programmes to assistance with social media marketing. We will continue to explore ways in which we can support Barnet businesses to grow and thrive."

Find out how your business can benefit from Barnet Council’s free business support programme.