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Small businesses call for cost cutting in the capital

London's small businesses are in a mixed in the second quarter of 2015 Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Small businesses in London are calling for a reduction in the cost of doing business in the capital.

The latest survey of London members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that although business owners view their prospects over the next few months in a positive light, London businesses have found it hardest to provide wage increases in the last 12 months, compared with the rest of England.

The results of the Q2 London Small Business Index show that whilst London businesses remain optimistic, we must ensure we reduce the cost of doing business in the capital. The FSB London Policy Unit is urging the Mayor to continue to support the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of £3,000 when it ceases to exist at the end of June and for Government to sign off on the Crossrail 2 project at the time of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

– Sue Terpilowski, London Policy Chair, FSB

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of small businesses said they expected to grow moderately or rapidly in the next three months - the highest figure ever reported in the small business index. Four in 10 London businesses are also planing to increase capital investment over the next 12 months.

Foreign brands outnumber British stores on Regent Street

The Apple store on Regent Street Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

For the first time in 192 years, there are now more overseas retailers on London's Regent Street than there are domestic brands, with American stores leading the way, according to property specialists.

Currently, more than 50 international brands - a quarter of which come from the USA - are based on the capital's prestigious shopping street. Some of these brands include J Crew, Anthropologie, Calvin Klein, Desigual, Karl Lagerfeld and Longchamp.

Demand for shops in London's West End remains high. In 2014, central London saw the sharpest fall in vacant units since 2007. Research by real estate company Colliers International showed that prime rents rose on average by just under 15 per cent last year.


Mayor to launch London Technology Week

Boris Johnson at last year's London Technology Week Credit: Geoff Caddick/PA Archive

London's Mayor Boris Johnson will mark the start of London Technology Week today by meeting some of the capital's future tech entrepreneurs.

He is due to launch a new dedicated online hub for the city's digital industry as part of the second London Technology Week. The first event was held in 2014.

The aim to is for London to exhibit its technology credentials to a global audience, in an attempt to attract companies from around the world to do business.


HSBC to decide on HQ move 'by the end of the year'

HSBC will decide on whether to move its headquarters from London by the end of the year.

Any move that goes ahead will take two years to execute, ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reported.

The bank, which today announced it is axing between 7,000 and 8,000 roles from its 48,000-strong UK workforce as part of a cost-cutting strategy, said it is "too soon" to say whether it will keep its UK head office.

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