BUSINESSES and Civic Centre chiefs have been urged to 'buy local' after a survey suggested more firms are closing in Hounslow than anywhere in London.
Nearly 3,200 companies in the borough have folded in the last two years - more than a sixth of the total number there, according to a report commissioned by the BBC.
The survey, carried out by financial analyst Experian and published on Monday (March 19), showed 3,169 firms had either left Hounslow, closed or gone bust since 2010.
That is more than a fifth of the 15,000 businesses lost across the whole of London during that period.
Hounslow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephen Fry said the best way to protect existing firms was to buy products and services locally and prevent money leaving the borough.
He told the Chronicle council chiefs were as guilty as anyone of using firms from outside the borough to do jobs Hounslow companies could easily fulfil.
"It's essential the council has a procurement programme that's 100 per cent Hounslow. We have local businesses which can do the job and help keep the money in the borough. We don't need to import," he said.
Mr Fry added that Hounslow had many small companies and it was these firms, at the 'bottom of the economic food chain', which were usually first to go during a financial downturn.
He said it was vital to redevelop Brentford and Hounslow town centres so the many office workers based there would spend their money locally.
A council spokesman said:
“We do work hard to support local businesses and our own policies say any spending worth up to £75,000 should be with local firms where possible.
“EU rules mean contracts above this need to be open to wider competition, but we have some discretion to try to choose local suppliers for goods and services up to the value of around £170,000.”
The Chronicle reported only last week how traders were struggling to pay rent in Brentford High Street.
Hounslow Council deputy leader Ruth Cadbury said the council was working closely with businesses to provide support as it finalises regeneration plans for the borough.