An emergency appeal has been set up to support small businesses forced to close due to a partial building collapse on Stoke Newington High St.
Though businesses are likely to receive some insurance eventually, cash flow for some is more precarious and weeks of enforced closure leaves them “fighting for survival.”
The partial collapse of a building on Friday, which sent debris crashing through scaffolding onto the pavement below, has meant a huge structure is now in place blocking the entire road. The road will remain closed until February 18th while engineers assess the building and ensure it’s safe.
Heidi Early, Chair of Stoke Newington Business Association, said: “Around 20 businesses are impacted by this – in one dramatic moment everything changed; they can’t access their shops at all. They can’t get to their stock so trading online or anywhere else is tricky. Small businesses don’t have big financial buffers to see them through moments like this – there is an immediate cash-flow issue and some are now fighting for survival.”
Among the businesses forced to close are Paramount Fruitier, Loading Bar, A & B Glass, Knit with Attitude, Horc and Co and Rocket Hair Salon, Royal Bakery, Yogi News, Osteria Wolf, Eyewear Optician, Sutton & Sons Fishmonger, Odontica Dental Clinic, The Cookery Butchers, Mind Charity Shop, MacBites and more.
Heidi added: “Our heart goes out to the businesses forced to close and the residents evacuated from their homes.
“Just as traders were getting back on their feet post pandemic, another period of enforced closure is a bitter blow and leaves some on a knife-edge. Independent businesses are a massive part of what makes Stoke Newington so special and we’re urging the public to step up and give what they can to help.”
Donations will be distributed by Stoke Newington Business Association to the small businesses most impacted by the incident.
May Linn Bang (Maya) of Knit with Attitude, is one of the shops forced to close until further notice. She said: “The main thing is of course that no one is injured, but for us the consequences of being closed, even for a few days are quite dramatic. As many small businesses the difference between making it and breaking is balancing on what sometimes feels like a very thin line.
“I cannot deny that I am worried about our cash flow.”
Other businesses See you in Stokey has spoken with are also worried – unable to access stock or trade and faced with the prospect of having to rent alternative premises.
The company which manages the building and its repairs declined to comment.