You may remember that back in April and May 2007 I reported on the plight of small businesses in my part of Oslo (Grünerløkka). Since then, over 70 of these businesses – including Sound of Mu (pictured) – have banded together to form an organization called UNiK, which even has a discount card for sale.
The UNiK card can also be used in London, in any of the shops that are members of Wedge.
Here’s what UNiK has to say about itself:
“UNiK GrÃ¼nerlÃ¸kka was founded on the 11th May 2007. It is a movement consisting of residents, artists, shop owners and other concerned individuals who live or have their work in and around GrÃ¼nerlÃ¸kka. We want to take care of this diverse borough, which we believe is one of Oslo’s most important social spaces.
UNiK is politically independent. We believe that a diverse district benefits everyone, regardless of political view. We want to co-operate with local authorities, and would like a constructive dialogue with all parties.
UNiK have seen an explosion in rental prices that has resulted in the small, independent shops disappearing and being replaced by chain stores and and estate agents. We encourage people to show more respect and take responsibility in the design of the quarter.
UNiK encourages all residents and visitors to take care of GrÃ¼nerlÃ¸kka – by supporting independent businesses and by showing respect for the environment in the area.
UNiK will promote local art and culture, and contribute to organise cultural events.
UNiK is a city wide movement which, in the long term, want to include other neighbourhoods of Oslo to follow our initiative. We know that many of the residents of Oslo are committed to preserving a unique urban environment.”
Have a look at the Sound of Mu page I manage on the UNiK site, where you can see the above picture of Mu, Lars, me and Bjarne enlarged.