Best for business – paying the Living Wage

Photograph: Interior of The Pretty Shiny Shop, with owner Georgina holding a placard reading: "Shop Local" "We are a Covid Safe Business".

For over 30 years, After Noah has carved out a niche as one of the most original shopping experiences stores in Islington.

The store on Upper Street has grown to cater for all tastes – selling toys, gifts, home wares, garden goods and new and vintage furniture – as well as running a busy restoration workshop, built on generations of family knowledge and skill.

A key part of After Noah’s success has been the strength of its team. As Islington celebrates its accreditation as a Living Wage Borough, we asked general manager, Simon Tarr, to tell us why After Noah is proud to be recognised as a living wage employer.

“As a family-owned and run company, we know that one of the most important parts of a successful business is the people we work with. Our success stems as much from our staff, as what we offer and as the team has grown, the business has gone from strength to strength. Customers continually tell us how friendly, happy and helpful the team are and that happy atmosphere they get from the team is what keeps them coming back.

That’s why we set the London Living wage as the minimum rate of pay for our staff, although many are paid more. If our team is going to go the extra mile, the least we can do is pay a wage that’s based on the real cost of living – and recognise the value our staff add to the business.”

How has After Noah benefitted from being a Living Wage employer? 

“As good as it feels to pay our staff that bit more, it isn’t a selfless act. We invest in our team and many of them have stayed with us for years. Having a low turnover of staff, helps keep the team well trained and informed about products as well as happy. That helps keep the customers happy, which makes the store successful.

Beyond that, paying the Living Wage puts more money in our team’s pockets, and more money into the local economy as a result. Which is always a good thing.”

What would you say to other businesses in Islington that are thinking of becoming Living Wage employers?  

“Islington being recognised as a Living Wage Borough is a huge opportunity for the community. Hopefully many other local businesses will also see the benefits of the Living Wage too.

After all the uncertainty of the last 18 months, there’s never been a better time for Islington’s local businesses, big and small to come together to restore the high street as the heart of the community.

Paying staff the living wage, and recognising the difference that every employee can make, is a great starting point for achieving that goal.”

Learn more about Islington becoming a living wage place

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