In its full council meeting agenda back in January, the council published a report saying that there was "a lack of enterprise culture". It was hard to tell if this was putting it mildly. The report suggested fewer people are registering businesses while more people are shutting them, or moving them, out of the borough: "Levels of VAT registration have fallen in recent years, there has been an increase in VAT de-registrations and generally there is a lack of an enterprise culture."
Is it a catch 22? In the same report East London Business Alliance told the council: "A key issue in Hackney was the decline of the manufacturing and light industries and the dispersal of many such businesses out of the borough because of the escalation of rents as a result of the regeneration of the area."
But how bad is it? Is it getting worse? What effect it is having?
The report seems to acknowledge that Hackney will struggle to benefit from the Olympic games if there is no enterprise.
Possibly interesting: A new university planned for the 2012 site according to the Times
And plans to help small businesses in Hackney - if there are any - do business in the City.
“Small businesses tend to rely on one or two main clients,” said City of London Corporation chairman of policy and resources, Stuart Fraser. “We’re working to help small firms in the City fringes review their business pipelines and allow them to better access business on their doorsteps." This will be "seminars and one-on-one advice sessions throughout 2009, culminating in a ‘Meet the Buyers’ event in March 2010, where 125 tender-ready small firms will have the chance to pitch to City-based companies."
Barter for beer in Hackney Road pub?
In Thursday's Hackney Gazette: "Council publications such as East End Life and Hackney Toady are created to spin the party line in an attempt to convince you council taxpayers out there that everything they do, they do it for you."