The Phoenix Artist Club, one of central London's last remaining independent venues hosted the second of our MP Roundtables, to highlight the challenges and pressures facing small businesses in the capital and to support our #ThinkSelfEmployed Campaign.
There was a lengthy discussion on Brexit and the impacts on small businesses. Concerns raised included local crime and drug issues, and a shortage of police resources, a growing skills shortage and a lack of labour. We heard about landlord issues with regards to rent rises, trading terms and leasing deals being imposed that threaten the future viability of local businesses. Furthermore business are being adversely affected by infrastructure developments and would like developers and planners to consult more, in advance of any works, with local business communities to minimise issues.
There is an overarching worry that the small and independent businesses that contribute to making London special will be forced out of business, due to continuing pressures and high costs, with the forthcoming rate increases adding to the strain. And genuine concern that London will become a city dominated by just chains