Shoppers are being urged to support small and independent businesses in Westminster this weekend in a national shop local initiative.
Shopkeepers are preparing for Small Business Saturday (Dec 7) which is expected to be their busiest trading day so far this year.
The scheme, championed by American Express, aims to encourage people to buy goods from small local firms with a turnover of less than £10million.
One local Paddington café owner said the event was welcome news.
Erol Tazgun, who owns the Church Street Café, said: “Schemes like this are very important.
“Business is getting harder these days because of competition from the market and the high business rates we pay. But we are always busy thanks to our local customers, so things like this are good.”
Westminster Council has backed Small Business Saturday and urged residents to turn to their local shopping areas and markets in the run up to Christmas.
Cabinet member for business, Councillor Daniel Astaire, said: “This is a day to celebrate our high streets – from Berwick Street to Savile Row.
“Westminster has worked hard to improve the shopping experience for visitors and residents and we have also used street markets to help regenerate areas in places like Church Street and Tachbrook.
“This is part of our commitment to ensure Westminster is the best place to do business, whether you are an established conglomerate like Microsoft or a start-up company based at Hub Westminster.”
Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenberg also welcomed the event, saying: “Successful small businesses are vital to local communities but, like many of us, they have been struggling over the past few years.
“The build up to Christmas is an excellent time to show your support by buying some of your gifts and festive supplies from smaller independent shops in Westminster.”