Photography by Rachel Ferriman
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Milestone celebration for East End organisation which campaigned for fair business rents during pandemic

East London’s largest network of independent businesses has reached a milestone birthday, after it recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary.

The  East End Trades Guild (EETG) celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party at the Bishopsgate Institute last Wednesday. As part of its celebration, new covers for uniquely designed guides of its almost 400 members were unveiled. 

These guides will be distributed on Small Business Saturday on 3 December through its network of businesses. For the first time, the Tower Hamlets guide includes the Bengali language; the London Bangla Press Club and East End Bengali Heritage Society supported the Guild with the translation.

This visibility-raising initiative has been supported by organisations including Tower Hamlets Council, Hackney Council, and creative consultancy Wood Street Walls.

Krissie Nicolson, the Guild’s Director said: ‘These guides are perfect for the discerning customer with everything you need from nail and hair salons to art galleries, sustainable food growers, bakeries, pubs and bars the most one-of-a-kind fashion accessories and Christmas presents you could hope for all to be bought safely in the knowledge that your money is supporting the community in East London.’

Co-founder of the Guild The Gentle Author, of Spitalfields Life, gave a lecture at the anniversary party on the origins of the Guild.

Founding member and artist Rob Ryan created the artwork, Aldgate Press printed the guides, and carbon-free delivery company Crisp Street Delivers – Zedify is distributing the guides this week.

The EETG is an alliance of almost 400 small, independent businesses, social enterprises, and the self-employed working together on common interests and for the good of the community. Its numbers enabled it to have a powerful voice for its members to negotiate for fair rent and support during the pandemic and its various lockdowns and restrictions.

If you liked this article, read our guide on East London Christmas Markets.

A cartograph of Tower Hamlets, highlighting the areas of Victoria Park, Roman Road, Young V&A and Brick Lane, East London
Rob Ryan, who’s art studio is based in Betnhal Green, designed the new map and guides.

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