Story by Yassin M Usuf
News and General Store corner shop on Verdon Street, situated in the middle of residential estate surrounded by flats and houses. The shop’s owner AbdulKadir Johar welcomes shoppers with a wide and bright smile with his beautiful one-year-old daughter on his arm. The shop has been open for over a year now and Mr Johar mentioned business was slow to start with and is now beginning to pick up with “God’s blessing”. Mr Johar says it’s a fact of business that you will have your ups and downs. Abdulkadir also talks glowingly about his customers and how he was welcomed into the area with open arms.
Mr Johar has also talked about the effects of Tesco’s major store in the area and how it effecting local shops in Burngreave, “it’s a big supermarket which you can’t compete with and that it’s killing local small businesses”. Abdulkadir loves Burngreave and hopes to have his shop at the heart of Burngreave for a long time and in the foreseeable future.
Down the hill I visited Mr Delshad Khosh who is one of the company owners of Corner Stop situated amid the hustle and bustle of Spital Hill near Tesco Extra. Mr Khosh says one of the reasons he has opened his shop on the corner was because of Tesco Extra and the investment that Sheffield City Council has shown in the area. The area has improved a lot in terms of security and safety.
“Tesco Extra brand has been good for Burngreave and business has been very good so far and positive.”
I then visited Muniir Mahmood who owns Unique Barbers. He has been the proprietor for more than five years and is very proud of his business and his reputation. It’s always busy at Unique Barbers and customers are always happy with service. Mr Mahmood talked about how business has been good in the area and is proud to serve the community.
My point of view when you talk to local businesses in the area for the majority business has been good and booming in the area, there has been concerns that big business is driving out the little owned family businesses in the area, which is an issue for every area in Sheffield in today’s economic climate. It shows the determination of local businesses and individuals to keep their livelihoods secure for the future. Major supermarkets and known brands always talk about buying locally resourced foods and goods, so why not buy from your local corner shops and community businesses? As Burngreave residents we should support our local shops and businesses in the area that we have grown up with to make sure the history and customs of Burngreave continues and families lively hoods are secure for the next generation to come.