Businnesses feeling pinch of austerity

Mark Cutter in the newly opened Sun Street Bottle Shop.
Mark Cutter in the newly opened Sun Street Bottle Shop.
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On Saturday June 20 2015, three coach loads of concerned citizens travelled from Lancaster to London to participate in a national demonstration against austerity. They were joined by thousands of people from around the country, and a number of celebrity protestors.

They were joined by thousands of people from around the country, and a number of celebrity protestors.

Whether or not you agree with the anti-government rhetoric of the protest(s), we can surely all agree that the general message that inequality is a bad thing, and that solidarity with other members of our society is a good thing.

Elsewhere on the same day, a further twenty or so concerned citizens walked along the 23 mile route of The Witches Challenge commemorating the path of (in)famous Pendle Witches. They were doing so to raise money and awareness for the charity Safe Child Africa (previously Stepping Stones Nigeria). The participants’ message of solidarity with our fellow humans speaks just as loudly to me, as the thousands of voices that walked in London.

We need to recognise that the concept of solidarity is as important to businesses as it is to individuals. In a time of austerity small, and big, businesses feel the pinch of a definite lack of money in the pockets of our customers. Lancaster has a strong tradition of collaborative working, solidarity and social focus among its business community. Notwithstanding direct sponsorships and general philanthropy by businesses, there is a genuine sense of cooperation and solidarity in the way in which businesses operate within this city. This is demonstrated by committees such as the Business Improvement District and PubWatch, and by collaborative initiatives such as the Lancaster Music Festival and the Northern City of Ale.

As a city of businesses we should strive for a model of “competition by cooperation” to ensure that we all thrive, and as city of concerned citizens we can all agree that showing solidarity both within our city and outside of it will be good for all of us.

By Mark Cutter, landlord and retailer