Choose Local

Choose Local: Support Everyone

Our award-winning Choose Local: Support Everyone campaign encourages residents to support their community's vibrant local businesses.

Over the last 2 years we have been blown away by the love shown by Waltham Forest residents to our local businesses. You have chosen local to support everyone, from switching up where you get your fruit and veg, to eating out locally, to buying that gift in that little independent shop you always walk past but never popped your head in. And it’s not just that - you’ve clicked the like button on social media, tagged, posted, popped in to have a look, and made recommendations to friends, families and even strangers. All brilliant ways to help the business community as we come out of these tough times. 

Who knows the place better than the locals? That’s why this time round, we are sharing and shouting about all the brilliant places to eat, drink, shop, be entertained and visit in our wonderful borough. And what’s better: they have all been recommended by you! So you know they’re good if your neighbours think so.  

We still want to hear from you! Tell us about your local favs, recommend places, and show your pride in your borough and choose local, support everyone. Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #ChooseLocalWF on social media. 

Check out how else to get involved below and read about our commitment to support our high streets through the pandemic and beyond. Remember to always shop safely, and respect the measures set out by businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Why is it important to choose local?

  • For every £10 spent with an independent business - £3.80 stays locally. Your pound works a lot harder locally, helping businesses to employ locally, use local suppliers and buy local products.  

  • Research by VISA shows that buying your Christmas dinner ingredients presents for your loved ones or home decorations from local businesses could double the amount of money that stays in the local community.  

Don’t believe us? Well, what about these stats that might just motivate you to choose local.  

  • It makes you feel good! 43% say they get a boost of happiness when they support local shopkeepers.  

  • Over half (54%) say it’s important to them to shop locally because they know how much their custom means, think about how you can help someone in your local community, they could even be a neighbour or have a child that attends the same school as yours. 

  • Local businesses contribute to their community by making the area a nicer place to live (39%) and keeping it vibrant and buzzing (38%). 

Want to get involved?

Did you know that if every household in Waltham Forest spent a tenner at a local business in the borough that’s just over an extra £1 million that would be put straight back into our local economy? We know though not everyone has money to spare at the moment; your insider knowledge, recommendations and sharing the love on social media are really valuable too.

Help your local businesses for free with the following steps:

  • Like and follow your favourite shops on social media, engage with their posts and share stories
  • Leave online reviews of your experience
  • Sign up to their mailing list to continue your support
  • Spread the word by telling your neighbours about good experiences!

These small steps cost nothing, but mean the world to small businesses. Make the switch today, and start the conversation with your family, friends and followers.

Our action plan to help our High Streets

The High Street Action plan sets out how we plan to re-imagine and re-establish Waltham Forest’s vibrant town centres and high streets that we know and love.

We will support our town centres, high streets, wider business community and entrepreneurs where we can, by redesigning our high streets to create safe spaces for people to shop, to do business and to live.

There will be a period of re-building as we re-open our town centres and high streets and help local businesses adapt to trade safely in this new environment. This is our opportunity not just to make things right but to make them better for the future.

For Waltham Forest to continue to be a successful place we need to maintain confidence for residents, businesses and investors so both our local economy and the people who live here prosper.

High Streets Action Plan (PDF)

Local business? We're here for you

Are you a local Waltham Forest Business? Make sure you list yourself for free in our local business directory.

Residents are able to search this directory, which features everything from cafés to breweries to home delivery services. The directory currently lists 310 businesses and the site is averaging 4,000 unique visits per month.

Our Business Support Team is also available to provide advice and guidance at this tricky time. They can:

  • Signpost you to business help
  • Advise on the availability of workspace and property
  • Connect you to networking organisations in the borough

You can find more information on what other programmes and schemes we are in partnership with or email the team.

Choose Local: Support Lea Bridge

In March 2022 we launched our place-specific Choose Local: Support Lea Bridge campaign, celebrating more than 350 businesses in the wider Lea Bridge area, from the high street businesses around Markhouse Corner to the hundreds of diverse businesses in the Argall Industrial Estate. 

Hear the stories of this corner of the borough, from the much-loved longstanding cafes and shops on the high street to the brand new innovators in Lea Bridge's industrial areas.