Helping small businesses to thrive in London

Date published: 
13 November 2017

The pressure on affordable workspace for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in London is increasing. Workspace needs to be flexible and well connected for businesses.

Affordability is a key concern for SMEs and co-working models can help combat the high cost of rents.

The Economy Committee has published its report ‘Helping SMEs to thrive’. The report sets out the challenges facing SMEs in London and what the Mayor can do to help SMEs prosper in the capital.

Key facts

  • Sixteen per cent of industrial land was lost between 2001-2015 and if the trend continues, industrial land in London could fall a third by 2041.
  • In outer London, almost one fifth of workspace could be lost to residential homes.
  • Since 2013, the relaxation of permitted development rights has led to the conversion of 1.47 million square metres of office space to residential homes.

Video: Helping SMEs to thrive in London


  • Look into creating more flexible workspace in London by using available space more smartly. This will help reduce business overheads for micro and start-up businesses.
  • Commission research into the reasons why businesses are leaving London and identify which types of businesses are moving and the impact this has on local communities.
  • Bring together innovative planning policy by local authorities to create new affordable workspaces for SMEs.

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