“Currying favour with the locals”: Balti owners and business enclaves

Sanghera, Balihar, Ram, Monder, Abbas, Tahir, Hillin, Guy (2000) “Currying favour with the locals”: Balti owners and business enclaves. Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 6 (1). pp. 41-55. ISSN 1355-2554. (doi:10.1108/13552550010323230) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13552550010323230

Abstract

The often-dynamic presence of South Asians in particular economic activities has prompted ambivalent responses from policymakers. For some, there is encouragement to “break out” from ethnic niche businesses like lower-order retailing and catering. Another ploy is to promote a strategy of “‘ethnic advantage” by exploiting “cultural” features of a particular community. Examples include the marketing of what can be termed “ethnic enclaves” like “Chinatown” in Manchester and “Little Italy” in Boston (USA). This paper reports on an initiative to exploit the tourist potential of South Asian cuisine by developing a “Balti Quarter” in Birmingham. The results highlight a number of key issues involved in operationalising this increasingly popular strategy. First, the unitarist conceptualisation of the notion of an ethnic enclave obscures the harshly competitive environment that small ethnic minority firms like those in the “Balti Quarter” have to operate in. Second, the often ad hoc way in which such inner city areas are regulated (through planning guidelines) can intensify the competitive pressures facing many firms in the area. Finally, the “external” focus of the initiative runs the risk of masking chronic issues within the firm (e.g. poor working environments) which policymakers should be equally concerned with.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/13552550010323230
Uncontrolled keywords: Ethnic groups, Restaurants, Regulations
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2014 16:25 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38264 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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