The Southfields Business Forum (SBF) represents the views and interests of the many local businesses in our area. Started some years ago, it was relaunched in May 2015 under the chairmanship of Sunny Patel. A survey of the 94 shops in both Replingham Road and Wimbledon Park Road was completed, with over 70 businesses responded, so a committee was set up and a constitution established.
We do not have a member’s fee, and all businesses in the Replingham Road and Wimbledon Park Road areas are welcome to come to our meetings. With issues like traffic, business rates, planning applications, improvement plans and others affecting life in Southfields there are plenty of meetings! We welcome any other businesses from the surrounding streets, for instance from Brookwood or Revelstoke Roads.
Our mainly independent, resourceful and resilient local traders have realised that time changes and they must change with it, just as our shopping area has had to embrace the multiple chain stores and the large number of estate agents. Many of the other shops would also like to be involved, but their company policies do not allow for it. The SBF members believe they must encourage more shoppers to come to this area, and one way to do this is by addressing the issues that affect us all. They also want to communicate more with each other.
The SBF have a continuing dialogue with our MP, local councillors, planners and other council staff. We also organise the annual Southfields Christmas Lights, which are sponsored by the Wimbledon Foundation. On a late afternoon in early December we hold a “switch-on” event, closing the upper part of Replingham Road to allow locals to come and enjoy music from local schools, food stalls and festivities as well as the official switching-on. This event has grown in popularity over the years – in 2017 over 1,000 attended.
If you are a Southfields business owner and would like to join the Southfields Business Forum, please contact its vice-chair, Gill Habershon on 0208 870 7514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.