National and regional government need to do more to make London an affordable and sustainable place for smaller firms, according to one of the capital’s key business lobbyists.
Research recently published by the Federation Of Small Businesses found that government-driven business costs have risen in London by more than 13% over the past five years, higher than any other region in the UK.
Other FSB data has shown that small firms in the capital now pay 30% of their turnover just on rents and rates.
Addressing a meeting of members on Wednesday, Sue Terpilowski, the organisation’s London Policy Chair, said this meant “London is now very expensive to do business in” and warned that the fact “London businesses cannot charge more for their products” risked denting their contribution to the UK’s economy.
She told delegates “more has to be done to curb soaring costs in the capital” and warned that the coalition government’s decision to make it easier to convert industrial buildings to residential use meant “we are losing business space hand over fist to converted housing.”
The policy has been blamed by business and political figures for a rise in the cost of business rents, with London Assembly members previously warning that it risked driving firms out of London or, in some cases, out of business entirely.