Economic Collapse • London

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Economic Collapse is my London photo documentary illustrating the devastating affect on small businesses in the UK due to Covid-19 government policies.

I visited London for two days back in September 2020 to create these images. It was between the lockdowns. But you wouldn’t think so. The City of London was like a ghost town even then. So was the West End. I dread to think what it’s like now we’re in full lockdown in early 2021!

Essential Lockdowns and Restrictions

There were numerous lockdowns and restrictions imposed in the UK during 2020 and early 2021. These measures were essential to save lives and to protect the NHS. However, it’s been especially hard for smaller businesses. Some of these taxpayers have had little to no government support during the pandemic. Through no fault of their own. Many are facing economic collapse as a consequence.

City and West End Deserted

Here’s the problem. The City of London and the West End were largely deserted. The former because most folk are working from home and the latter due to a lack of shoppers and tourists during the pandemic. This is particularly devastating for smaller businesses deprived of their respective customer bases.

ExcludedUK – Meaningful Support

According to the campaign group Excluded UK there have been 3 million small businesses and entrepreneurs excluded from meaningful support. ExcludedUK compiled these statistics from official government data. The statistics are shocking. The UK government should be praised for the support schemes they have provided. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or CJRS is one example of such a scheme. Undoubtedly these policies have saved a lot of jobs. But that doesn’t help the millions who have “fallen through the cracks”. The consequences for these businesses and the UK economy are devastating.

Full Disclosure

Full disclosure: My own business is one of the 3 million excluded from meaningful support. In fact, it’s why I’ve taken so long to make this post. I wasn’t able to face editing these images for quite some time. That’s because it’s an issue affecting me personally as a professional photographer. If you’re in the same situation the ExcludedUK community on Facebook is a great place for support and advice.

Anyway, enough of that, it’s rare I mention political issues. I’ll let my images from this London photo documentary tell you the real story of the utter desolation in central London instead:

Click on the photos to view full size:

Related Topics

You can learn more about my work as a professional photographer in London here. Alternatively, you might be interested in my units stills photography in London here.

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6 thoughts on “Economic Collapse • London”

  1. I love your reportage style. You’ve perfectly captured a shocking moment in the socioeconomic history of the UK

  2. Perfectly reported Ray.

    You have presented a well written, accurate and balanced documentary of these very difficult times.

    The images tell of the emptiness around the streets and capture the sombre mood that obviously abound. It left me feeling I too was a witness of the same time and place.

    Good work…and here’s to better days!

    • Thanks David. Lockdowns and restrictions have been essential, but they’ve caused devastating side affects in so many ways! I wanted to document one aspect of that. It looks like happier days are within grasp now though!


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