Sunday, 5 September 2010

Creperie confirms Chatsworth Road has a grey economy

It looks like Chatsworth Road is becoming the capital of Clapton's cafe culture with two coffee shops/delis, a juice bar, a 'kitchen' and now a creprie. For some reason four out of five of these new places have grey shop fronts.

Grey also seems to be the colour scheme for, the organisers of a Chatsworth Road market due to start sometime this month.

Is this a coincidence?

The oldest, Venetia's may have started the trend with a lighter grey but L'Epicerie is off the radar with brown:

How does this spurt of entrepreneurialism fit into Hackney Council's economic vision for the borough?

Blood and Property recently asked the council which documents Hackney politicians and council officers are supposed to use to get a good economic view of the borough.

The council reply: "As a council, we use a wide range of sources to gain an understanding of the borough and its economic landscape. This includes the Hackney Evidence Pack, which is available to view on the Team Hackney website, and the local labour market reports produced on a quarterly basis for the Economic Development Partnership."

There's not a great deal in the Hackney Evidence Pack about Hackney Businesses. But here are some bits:

This might explain some of the changes on Chatsworth Road:

In order to assess the existing level of entrepreneurial activity in the borough and the ‘appetite’ for self-employment amongst the population, the proportion of the working age population who are self-employed is a key measure:

11.9% (2008) of Hackney residents are self-employed. This compares with 10.6% for the London average; 5.8% for Newham; 12.1% for Islington. The percentage of Hackney residents who are self-employed has grown steadily from 9.7% in 2005. This proportion for Hackney is particularly high given the level of unemployment in the borough, and particularly the level of economic inactivity.

Business and Enterprise: Roughly 10,000 businesses operate in Hackney. Eighty-seven percent of London’s employing units have less than 10 employees. Hackney is no exception to this pattern, with 89% of its employing units and 100% of the borough’s transport and communications, manufacturing and construction employers operating from units of less than 10 employees.
Hackney has more than 50 large employing units with 200 or more employees. The sectors with the highest number of units employing more than 10 employees are banking, finance and insurance, and public administration, education and health.

Also, Mayor Pipe hopes Hackney's coffee shops will benefit from the Olympic legacy: Jules Pipe recently told The Economist that he is pinning his hopes on the media centre: "His main longer-term hope lies with the broadcasting and media centres in the Olympic Park. Hackney is home to lots of small firms in “creative” industries, from post-production work for Hollywood studios to printing and advertising, for which the media centre could become a new base. That in turn would spawn work in nearby coffee shops and so forth."

But, at the moment, house prices in Homerton and Clapton are amongst the fastest growing in London and very little of this seems to be related to the Olympics. Does this suggest that straight forward entrepreneurialism is still Hackney's best economic bet and not the Olympics?

1 comment:

  1. The Olympics will be a 2 minute earner for Hackney people.
    I was born and bred in Clapton and seen a steady flow of income and business over the last 5 years.
    True theres high unemployment in the borough, but plenty of oppotunity these days for small start ups, me being one of them.
    Im trying to break into the screen printing biz...check us out