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London Business Matters

26 Your business February 2017 LCCI in the news Ongoing Brexit worries, chaos on the transport network and the impending threat of new business rates all continued to whet the media’s appetite for comment from London Chamber of Commerce and Industry across all platforms. Highlights included chief executive Colin Stanbridge being interviewed live on BBC breakfast (above) and Sky News, while policy director Sean McKee appeared on Channel 5 (below), policy manager Siwan Puw was on Radio 5 and Radio 2, and LCCI made the front pages in City AM and the Evening Standard. A Chamber policy call was also endorsed in the Evening Standard comment section. One of the policy topics that shows no sign of abating since the Chamber’s report launch is that of the proposed London Visa. With Mayor Sadiq Khan warning the government that he would fight for a ‘London-specific solution’ following the work of LCCI, the story was reported on City AM’s front page. Firms call for separate business rates in London Properties should be ‘uncoupled’ from national system to avoid huge tax hikes, companies say By Ashley Armstrong and Alan Tovey LONDON properties should be uncoupled from the national business rates system to prevent companies in the capital being treated as a cash cow, the city’s firms say. Businesses in London could be forced to hand over an extra £4bn during the next five years under a revaluation which has led the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry to call for the capital to have a separate business rates system or risk a “profound” impact on the capital’s economy. The extra rates burden could force small, independent shops, bars and restaurants, which are already reeling from rocketing rents, to close down or move to cheaper locations, the LCCI has warned. Property values in London have soared since the last revaluation in 2008, meaning that many business will be hit with rocketing bills under the new regime. Business rates are often the third biggest outgoing for companies after salaries and rents. In total, the extra burden for London Reproduced by Gorkana under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further copying (including printing of digital cuttings), digital reproduction/forwarding of the cutting is permitted except under licence from the copyright owner. All FT content is copyright The Financial Times Ltd. Article Page 1 of 2 378084475 - GAVGOO - A23872-1 - 120835726 Reproduced by Gorkana under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further copying (including printing of digital cuttings), digital reproduction/forwarding of the cutting is permitted except under licence from the copyright owner. All FT content is copyright The Financial Times Ltd. Article Page 1 of 1 379109511 - JOHCAU - A23872-1 - 121247631 The issue was revisited by the Evening Standard and City AM with Chuka Umunna MP and a cross Source: Evening Standard (London) {Main} Edition: Country: UK Date: Thursday 12, January 2017 Page: 14 Area: 155 sq. cm Circulation: ABC 900126 Daily Ad data: page rate £57,120.00, scc rate £240.00 Phone: 020 7938 7161 Keyword: London Chamber of Commerce Established 1827 The Chinese are helping out London’s economy THE retailers’ results from Christmas are in, and a succession of them are reporting upbeat sales: M&S, Tesco, Morrisons and John Lewis. It’s all part of an optimistic economic story that runs counter to the gloomy prognostications that followed the referendum. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, who had predicted a possible recession, now says the immediate risks from Brexit have diminished and the threats to financial stability are greater in Europe than for Britain. None of which should be taken as proof that we have surmounted the risks, just that the economy has proved robust in a way that economists did not predict. There will be bad effects from the weakness of the pound on prices, which will certainly affect retailers, but we should be grateful that for now, at least, London is booming. And not just spending: the labour market remains relatively strong and so do wages. Part of the good news for London is that there are record numbers of Chinese visitors here, spending more than they do in Europe. This is heartening; if London is open for business, it is especially open for wealthy Chinese whom we have been wooing with easier visa requirements for a long time. Bookings for January, which includes the start of the Chinese New Year on the 28th, are 81 per cent up on last year. For the first three months of 2017 they are up 43 per cent on 2016. Granted, some of the upsurge is attributable to the relative weakness of the pound but it all promises a welcome fillip for tourism. There are of course areas where we could be doing better. House prices remain prohibitively high, which is why the Chancellor should pay heed to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s criticism of stamp duty, a tax on property mobility. We also need rapid reform of iniquitous business rates. But let’s be glad for good news: a spirit of optimism is what we need now. party-group of parliamentarians calling for a regionally led immigration system. Subsequently policy manager Emily Follis (left) was also interviewed on London live about the need for EU migrant workers in the capital. Strikes Commuter transport difficulties dominated the run-up to Christmas and the start of the New Year with more strikes on Southern trains as well as a 24 hour tube strike the same week as Southern walkouts. MPs and peers call for new visa powers for cities Source: The Daily Telegraph {Main} Edition: Country: UK Date: Saturday 31, December 2016 Page: 35 Area: 280 sq. cm Circulation: ABC 470212 Daily Ad data: page rate £46,000.00, scc rate £214.00 Phone: 020 7931 2000 Keyword: London Chamber of Commerce could be as much as £885m a year because of a revaluation due in April, as companies across the city face an average rise of 11pc. Few other areas have seen values rise so significantly, with the result that businesses in the capital will pay disproportionately more than elsewhere in the UK. St Pancras Station will face the biggest jump in rates, paying £10.1m a year, an increase of £21.5m or 73pc over the next five years, exclusive analysis for The Daily Telegraph by CVS, the business rates specialist, has found. The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel will also be facing a £13.5m jump in its rates bill over the next five years while the demand on the BBC for Broadcasting House in Portland Place will rise by £19.5m. Harrods, Selfridges and John Lewis will also face steep rises, CVS calculated. Some West End retailers, and office occupiers in Shoreditch, will see bills more than double as a result of the delayed revalution, which was held back by two years to prevent the changes LCCI was continually called on to comment on the disruption to businesses and to offer potential solutions. This included Colin Stanbridge being interviewed live at Piccadilly Circus by BBC breakfast correspondent Ben Thompson, a programme watched by 1.5 million viewers per day, followed by a studio interview on Sky News. Policy director Sean McKee spoke on 5 News on the same topic while Rob Griggs conveyed the Chamber’s position on London Live. One of LCCI’s main concerns throughout travel disruption and the ongoing Brexit uncertainty is that London is seen to be open for business. This was also part of Theresa May’s Christmas message reported on the Evening Standard’s front page and it was LCCI that the paper chose to quote as welcoming the sentiment and encouraging businesses, Londoners and visitors. Concern The business rates revaluation, due to come into force in April, continued to raise concern. LCCI’s views on the subject, formulated along with researching business views were frequently in the news. This included a comment on the north-south divide in the Telegraph’s main paper as well as the lead story in the business section calling for London’s rates to be decoupled from those nationally. A further story on the subject placed in City AM revealed a third of London businesses could be paying more in the charge than they paid in. With the housing crisis never far away from the headlines, a call from LCCI to review the 2014 stamp duty reforms was reported in the Sunday Times and Evening Standard, and also received an endorsement in the Standard’s editorial comment, backing a review. Twist Another twist in the Brexit tale saw the UK’s ambassador to the EU Ivan Rogers resign some months before planned. Colin Stanbridge was quoted in the Evening Standard the following day saying that the background of Rogers’ replacement was not important, but getting the right person in place to get the job done was crucial. The next few months will see the fallout from the Prime Ministers first speech on her Brexit Plans as we move towards the triggering of Article 50. With the reaction largely positive Colin Stanbridge gave his initial thoughts to the BBC, welcoming the fact that we now had some clarity, but also stressing that London already suffers from a skills shortage with EU migrants making up a vital part of London’s workforce – see article on the PM’s speech on page 7. Katharine McGee is press and media relations manager at LCCI by Katharine McGee Source: City A.M. {Main} Edition: Country: UK Date: Wednesday 30, November 2016 Page: 1 Area: 386 sq. cm Circulation: ABC 91386 Daily Ad data: page rate £8,000.00, scc rate £33.00 Phone: Keyword: London Chamber of Commerce KHAN STEPS UP FIGHT OVER VISA FEARS MARK SANDS @@MkSands SADIQ Khan will today accuse the government of failing to listen to fears that London’s economy could be rocked if Brexit limits access to skilled workers from EU countries. London’s mayor will tell the government to adopt a negotiating position that defends the interests of the city’s businesses. If it does not, Khan says he will push for a “London-specific solution” – which could involve work permits exclusively for firms in the capital. “If the government ignores the needs of business and pushes ahead with a new system that cuts off access to skilled workers then we will have no choice but to look at a Londonspecific solution,” Khan is expected to say during a speech at the Institute of Directors tonight. City Hall says 12.5 per cent of London’s workforce comes from other European Union countries, forming a crucial part of the city’s success. Downing Street’s desire to reform migration rules has prompted concern that access to talent could become stifled in the coming years. “London’s businesses must retain access to the skilled workforce they need in order to grow –it’s absolutely essential to protecting jobs, growth and tax revenues across Britain over the next decade,” Khan will say. “I will keep pushing the government to recognise this vital need in their negotiating position – but it doesn’t look like they are listening.” The City of London Corporation and the London Chamber of Commerce have both published research on a specific visa scheme for the capital in the last two months. One proposal would see the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) handed a new remit to draft a list of skills shortages in London. City Hall is understood to be particularly keen on this idea. The MAC, which reports to parliament, already produces similar documentation for Scotland and the UK, as a whole, to support Home Office decision making. A Home Office spokesman said: “There are no plans to introduce regional visas.” Reproduced by Gorkana under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further copying (including printing of digital cuttings), digital reproduction/forwarding of the cutting is permitted except under licence from the copyright owner. All FT content is copyright The Financial Times Ltd. Article Page 1 of 2 375487057 - GAVGOO - A23872-1 - 119810548 Source: City A.M. {Main} Edition: Country: UK Date: Thursday 5, January 2017 Page: 5 Area: 150 sq. cm Circulation: ABC 91353 Daily Ad data: page rate £8,000.00, scc rate £33.00 Phone: Keyword: London Chamber of Commerce MARK SANDS @MkSands A CROSS-PARTY group of 24 MPs and peers is demanding the government investigates a regionally-led immigration system for the UK. The panel of MPs, which is led by Labour’s Chuka Umunna, argues regions and cities should gain control of local visa rules. This would mimic a system already in place in Canada, where all 10 provincial governments can set requirements to meet, for example, labour shortages. The MPs argue a move away from a one-size-fits all policy would allow the regions most in need of foreign workers to establish a system suitable for them, while also helping to recover public trust. Umunna told City A.M.: “If we want to maintain the historic case in favour of managed migrating we need to give local areas control of the system, and detoxify the debate around immigration which for business will be a good thing, because they will look to migrants filling skills shortages.” It comes as part of a package of measures designed to improve the current regime and boost integration. Other suggestions include a requirement for migrants to have either learned English, or be enrolled in compulsory classes upon arrival in the UK, and a requirement for local councils to draft formal plans to support integration. The call comes as business groups continue to push for a London visas. This week the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry launch its latest quarterly economic survey with a reiterated demand for visas to be offered on the basis of a skills shortage list. This would be drafted by the independent Migration Advisory Committee, which currently does the same for both the UK and Scotland. Reproduced by Gorkana under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further copying (including printing of digital cuttings), digital reproduction/forwarding of the cutting is permitted except under licence from the copyright owner. All FT content is copyright The Financial Times Ltd. Article Page 1 of 1 378421037 - STEDAL - A23872-1 - 120988851 Source: City A.M. {Main} Edition: Country: UK Date: Monday 19, December 2016 Page: 12 Area: 179 sq. cm Circulation: ABC 91353 Daily Ad data: page rate £8,000.00, scc rate £33.00 Phone: Keyword: London Chamber of Commerce Government needs to do more to strengthen apprenticeships in UK WILLIAM TURVILL @wturvill TTHHEE GGOOVVEERRNNMMEENNT is being urged to do more to encourage businesses to take on apprentices A poll for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) found that 77 per cent of businesses do not currently employ an apprentice, never have and do not intend to in the future. Six per cent of the more than 500 London businesses quizzed did employ one. Some 35 per cent did not have the financial resources to train and manage an apprentice, naming it as one of the main barriers. Meanwhile, 33 per cent did not have the necessary HR; 23 per cent were not aware of the legal requirements; 21 per cent could not find the necessary skills; and 16 per cent did not know where to hire an apprentice. Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of LCCI, said the government “needs to educate businesses of the benefits of hiring apprentices”. “Encouraging young people to engage with industries which are vital to the UK’s economy, such as construction, manufacturing and freight, will enable businesses to make the most of the skills which are present in our resident workforce,” he said. Just six per cent of the London businesses quizzed employ an apprentice Reproduced by Gorkana under licence from the NLA (newspapers), CLA (magazines), FT (Financial Times/ft.com) or other copyright owner. No further copying (including printing of digital cuttings), digital reproduction/forwarding of the cutting is permitted except under licence from the copyright owner. All FT content is copyright The Financial Times Ltd. Article Page 1 of 1 377214170 - GAVGOO - A23872-1 - 120484924


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