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FSB London calls on Local Councils to Think Small First

With two months to Polling day, FSB London Launches Local Election Manifesto with a clear ask of all London’s 33 Local councils: Think Small First

In light of the recent Carillion affair, the Federation of Small Businesses (London Region) has launched its Local election Manifesto aimed at the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London,  with a clear message of ‘Creating lasting Partnerships’ with the micro, small businesses, and the self-employed, within their geographic.

With 96 per cent of businesses in the Capital being made up of microbusinesses (fewer than 10 employees), the FSB London Manifesto shines a light on the need for changes in procurement practices in Councils that support the local supply chains.

FSB London is calling for:

- A considerable increase in the number of contracts (over the four year period) at Borough level which are aimed at micro and small businesses.

- Councils to shine a light on poor payment practice and ensure that prime contractors pass on the payment terms of the council to their subcontracted suppliers – by building this into their contracts and monitoring if this has been fulfilled. 

Further measures in the Manifesto include:

- Carrying out greater consultation on parking policies as a recent FOI request showed that the average business parking permit in London had increased  by 81% over a ten  year period. 

- Boroughs supporting business calls to create an ‘Inner’ and ‘outer’ London Small Business Rate relief Threshold that takes into consideration the high cost of doing business in London. 

- Having a designated councillor in all 33 councils to be a ‘Small Business Champion’, reporting to council quarterly on engagement, initiatives and feedback from the local small  business community

- Helping small businesses to identify available support to take on apprentices, such as financial assistance and guidance

- Boroughs consulting on, and introducing, Article 4 Directions to protect local stocks of small business space from office to residential conversion. 

Michael Lassman, London Regional Chair, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“In the past, responsibility for the regeneration and the growth of local areas seemed to be firmly on the shoulders of the local authorities. This Manifesto creates the conditions to build better partnerships between local authorities and small businesses, so that we can support each other to create the right conditions for sustainable business growth in each Local borough.”  

Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses, added:

“London is at a turning point with the high cost of doing business in the capital.  Cost pressures include the high cost of transport which is putting additional pressure on wages and inflation for London businesses. The higher cost of employing staff generally and the heavy burden of cripplingly high commercial space costs is having additional negative impacts on small businesses.  With the most recent business rates revaluation impinging on their bottom line, local government must be strong partners to small businesses in the short and long term for them to be sustainable and grow.”

The full manifesto, which was published 28 February 2018, is available here.