Local Town Centre Manager Emma Robinson says "We welcome the news that we have the most independent businesses in the country. It's great news for Barnes and will hopefully help to bring in shoppers to our beautiful village which is much needed.
"Whilst it is good news for Barnes that the majority of our businesses are independents, this brings with it the challenge of keeping them. Inevitably big chains have more finance behind them and so can support themselves when times are quiet. Independents rely heavily on business drawn from the local community to keep them going.
"Barnes is a beautiful London village on the Thames. It is quiet and picturesque. We have core retailers - a butchers, fish shop, cheese shop, hardware shop, deli. It suits small independents who help keep the villagey feel which has long been protected by our active Barnes community association. Yet, things aren't all rosy in Barnes. As well as having the highest number of independents, we have one of the most active on-line shopping communities ironically taking business from our high street. We need more people to come to Barnes and shop here.
"The community is now attempting to take control over what happens in our high street. We have formed a Town Team and are trying to bring in the businesses that residents want and need in Barnes. We have too many estate agents and charity shops in our small community. We are working to support our valuable independents by bringing in businesses that will help bring in shoppers and keep our fragile economy alive."
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