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FSB London response to the New Draft London Plan

2 March 2018 

Introduction

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the UK’s leading business organisation. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the self-employed and all those who run their own business. The FSB is non-party political and is also the largest organisation representing small and micro sized businesses in the UK.

Small businesses make up 99.2 per cent of all businesses in London, and make a huge contribution to the UK economy. They contribute 44 per cent of London’s GDP and employ 39 per cent of the workforce[1].

Small and micro businesses – whether long-established or just starting out – are a vital part of the London scene. Not just as drivers for growth, but as the glue that holds communities together. This is as relevant in central London as it is in the outer Boroughs.

However, London’s small and micro businesses have been badly affected by spiralling costs that include increasing property costs and taxes, employment costs and increasingly challenging logistics for supplying and servicing their business. All of these and more, squeeze already-stretched margins and diminish the ability of small businesses to invest, grow and create employment.

FSB Response to the New Draft London Plan

The FSB welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Draft London Plan and would like to stress that for London to maintain its standing as a leading centre for business and remain economically globally competitive, it needs policies that will ensure that its micro and small businesses can survive and grow.

There are currently 885,000 single person businesses in London and a further 30 per cent of all employment in the capital is in a small business. But London is at a turning point with the high cost of doing business in the capital becoming uneconomical for businesses to strive or grow. Cost pressures include the high cost of transport, which is putting pressures on wages adding to the cost of employing staff. Crippling high commercial space costs added to by the recent business rates revaluation, are also seriously impinging on businesses bottom line.

Key concerns are:

  • Insufficient capacity for commercial business space in the capital at affordable costs for micro and small businesses
  • Intensification will not be a silver bullet to solve the issues
  • There needs to be stronger policies to protect non-designated industrial sites
  • There needs to be greater protection for the arches and other similar premises that are key locations for micro and small businesses.
  • Some of the policies in this plan seek to safeguard or provide for freight and servicing, but the overall tone is of restriction and reduction and not of collaboration and efficiency

read the full response here

Contacts:

Matthew Jaffa, Senior Development Manager – London Region
Matthew.Jaffa@fsb.org.uk
07525 964838

Denise Beedell, Development Manager - Greater London Area
Denise.beedell@fsb.org.uk
07595 284 327

Federation of Small Businesses
2 Catherine Place
Westminster
London
SW1E 6HF