The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled a range of free-to-access support options for London’s million-plus small businesses as they prepare for Brexit.
Nine new London Growth Hub centres across the city will offer face-to-face advice and resources, and a series of events taking place throughout October will help small business leaders take the basic steps they need to prepare for the impact of Brexit on areas such as import and export arrangements, EU staff, and potential changes to contracts and insurance.
Launched in 2017 and delivered by LEAP, London’s local enterprise partnership, the Hub aims to bring together the capital’s vast business support offer into a single online resource – and is now being expanded to offer in-person support as well.
According to a recent survey by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), only nine per cent of London business leaders polled say their business is prepared for a no-deal Brexit and nearly a fifth say they require support in planning for one.
From November 1, the new London Growth Hub service will start to operate across four sites including Huddle in Hammersmith and Fulham. Further support will be available from four satellite locations including one in Harrow Civic Centre.
The Mayor made the announcement as his London Growth Hub business roadshow made its fifth and final stop at City Hall, having engaged with thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners across the capital at events in Havering, Richmond, Barnet and Greenwich over the last few weeks.
The roadshows form part of the Mayor’s London is Open campaign. Launched in the aftermath of the EU referendum, the campaign promotes the capital’s diversity and demonstrates that, despite the challenges of Brexit, the capital remains the best place to start and grow a business.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The London Growth Hub is a vital resource for SMEs – and whether you need help with Brexit preparation, or other challenges facing your business, I urge all of London’s entrepreneurs to make use of the brilliant new business advice centres we are establishing across the city.”
Director of Policy and Public Affairs at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sean McKee, said: “Having provided Brexit advisory services to our membership for some time now, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry is acutely aware that there is a real mixed picture of Brexit preparations in the capital. Some businesses are prepared, some are preparing, others feel they can’t prepare, and some feel they don’t need to prepare.
“Our most recent research highlighted that nearly a fifth of London businesses polled said they needed support in order to be able to plan. This is why we welcome the support announced by the Mayor, which adds to the work that business organisations in London are doing to ensure the impact of Brexit is mitigated as best possible.”