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London Business Matters

February 2017 Your business 25 The debate coincided with the launch of Towards a Greater London, our 20-step agenda setting out LCCI’s priorities for the new Mayor, once in office. Amongst these were more devolution to the capital, greater investment in our transport infrastructure, a reformed migration system and commitments to help London’s emergency workers handicapped by the housing crisis. Boost So how did we do? In May we welcomed the new Mayor overturning the position of his predecessor by giving the go-ahead to London City Airport’s £300 million expansion plan, which will provide an essential boost to short term airport capacity as we await Heathrow’s third runway. Similarly, having campaigned for years for more river crossings in East London, Sadiq Khan’s commitment to the Silvertown tunnel is excellent news, tempered only by the lack of additional road crossings in current plans. We know though that only through more devolution will the capital be able to secure and fund the infrastructure – the housing, bridges and digital infrastructure to name but three - it needs to grow. Following our call Sadiq Khan reconvened London Finance Commission, on Colin Stanbridge File: 222792-2-17LBM Dynamis Ad size: A4 1/4P (90mm wide x 130mm high) We help more than 1,500 owners sell their businesses every month Sell online now www.BusinessesForSale.com/sell Free trial available James Holden Former owner of luxury toddler shoe brand business “Within days of posting I had lots of interest from real buyers and within a few weeks I had sold the business. Incredible!” “It took approximately 3-4 months before we had a buyer and in that time we had around 10 -15 email enquiries via the site.” 222792-2-17LBM Dynamis.indd 1 17/01/2017 11:04 Rob Griggs looks back on key LCCI policy initiatives in 2016 US political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously postulated the cold war and rise of liberal democracy across the globe, we might have reached the ‘end of history’. If 2016 is anything to go by, from Brexit through to Trump’s victory in the US, there is plenty of history still to come. More than ever in 2016 it was vital that LCCI continued to make the case to policy makers about what London’s businesses need to thrive in these unprecedented times. Challenges We started in January with a mayoral hustings at the London School of Economics and Political Science, chaired by our chief executive Colin Stanbridge. It was the first occasion that the main candidates to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London debated together, with Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith the frontrunners. In front of a packed audience of LCCI members and students, candidates set out how they would meet the challenges facing the capital, and support its business community. ADVERTORIAL that with the end of Business for sale? BORN OUT of one man’s need to sell a business, BusinessesForSale. com started in the mid-1990s as an online bulletin board. Since those early days BusinessesForSale.com has grown into a truly global service that connects over a million business buyers and sellers each and every month. For 20 years the site has been helping business brokers and private sellers market their listings. From cafes to construction businesses, some of the most exciting business opportunities have included the makers of Big Ben’s clock, a Chinese toll road, a crocodile farm in Thailand and even a tropical island! Natalie Greenfield bought an online gardening business after finding it listed in 2008 and then used BusinessesForSale.com to sell it in 2010. She says, “Because we found Plantabox on BusinessesForSale. com that was our reason to go back to it. As far as I can recall it was easy to use, easy to enter all the information.” Tim Warner sold one of the branches of his education business Educ8 and liked the site so much he went back to list a second business for sale. He added, “we used it again, because we had another business for sale. I did dip my toe in the water and try an alternative site and we had very few enquiries come back from it.” The site lists over 68,000 business opportunities in 130 countries. i Sell online now: www.BusinessesForSale.com/sell Free trial available 222792-2-17LBM Dynamis edit.indd 1 20/01/2017 15:34 sits as a Commissioner, which will shortly be publishing its updated findings around what fiscal powers London should be granted. The new Mayor is marching in lockstep with LCCI in calling for more devolution, and the battle for 2017 will be persuading Whitehall that devolution’s time has come. Endorsed In June, LCCI published a report called Living on the Edge: Housing London’s Blue Light Emergency Services. In it, we highlighted an underplayed aspect of the housing crisis; that over 50 per cent of our emergency workers are living outside the city limits, often due to high housing costs. Several of our recommendations were endorsed by Lord Harris as part of his review on behalf of the Mayor looking at London’s preparedness to respond to a Major Terrorist Incident. The Mayor himself welcomed our proposal that an updated London Plan should formally identify the need for specialist emergency services worker housing as an important planning issue. Uncertain No review on 2016 could ignore the generational event that happened in June, as the UK voted to leave the European Union. LCCI quickly set out to understand the implications and priorities for London businesses, set out in our October report, London Business & Brexit. It was apparent that access to skills is a top issue for London businesses; both the future status of businesses’ existing and valued EU employees – many of whom remain uncertain about their future – and also the impact that any crackdown on migration would have on businesses unable to find the right skills within the UK. In light of this, LCCI built upon an idea floated within Towards a Greater London for a ‘London Visa’ in our November report called Permits, Points and Visas: Securing Practical Migration for post-Brexit London. There is a strong case for London having more control over migration to ensure the capital continues to Making the case continued on page 34 Click/tap for more info


London Business Matters
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