Oval Partnership Briefing Note

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Local Shops and Businesses

If you have lived or worked in an inner city area for some years, you may have noticed local shops/businesses change hands from time to time.  You may remember a butcher shop or post office that used to be in the area but have long since disappeared.  Look more closely at the shops/businesses that remain.  Some seem to be thriving while others seem to struggle but you can’t always be sure. They don’t all require a visible queue of customers to be successful. In fact, some successful businesses don’t require shop fronts and will effectively be invisible to those passing by.  

Business take many forms, from a sole proprietor to large multi-nationals employing thousands of people.  As there are economic advantages in being close to others, most shops and businesses tend to cluster in

A few thrive in isolation from other shops and businesses.  For example, convenience stores serving local residents where shopping parades are just that little bit too far to be ‘convenient’.  Large supermarkets can also thrive in relative isolation as they rely on car drivers.


Successful or struggling, the one thing all businesses have in common is that someone has chosen to invest time and money in an area. The collective investment of such individuals (and companies) help shape shopping parades, business centres, the local economy and ultimately the community.  

Not all businesses, e.g. those relying on internet sales, corporate offices etc, rely on local customers. However, many do rely on support of the community.  There are several hundreds and possibly as many as a thousand shops and businesses in and around the neighbourhood.  This would be a very long section if we tried to cover them all.  To do the topic justice we have selected a  a range that hopefully represents some of those who have  invested in the community and, hopefully, offer some insights on the local economy and how it might be improved in the coming years.