As a freelance businesswoman myself, I can appreciate the challenges faced by small businesses in the current economic climate and local business structure. Every year, just before Christmas, the local shopkeepers of Kew Village hold a fair in the elbow of trees, shops and cafes that compose our little patch of southwest London. There are crafts on sale, live music on the pavement, pantoesque men in Victorian dress fundraising on stilts (really!), a hog roast, children’s amusements and a fireworks display as a finale. And all funded by the owners of the local shops – not the council. And also unfunded by the corporations, including Tesco and Starbucks.