Mayor backs business with launch of new Brexit Business hub

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London Assembly

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has told business leaders that he will always champion their interests and formally launched his new interactive hub to help companies of all shapes and sizes navigate Brexit.

Speaking to more than two hundred representatives from some of London’s largest employers at his business reception last night, Sadiq said that despite the heightened uncertainty caused by Brexit, London will always be the greatest city in the world in which to do business.

The Mayor’s new Brexit Business Resource Hub (www.growthhub.london/brexithub) will help businesses of all sizes prepare for the potential challenges Brexit will bring.

The Hub has been set up in response to a consultation that the Mayor held with businesses last month to determine exactly what support they need from the Government to help them prepare for the impacts of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and identify where City Hall can step in to fill any gaps.

The consultation revealed that businesses feel they have not had sufficient guidance from ministers on how to prepare for Brexit.

The Hub contains Brexit-related news, links to industry-specific reports and checklists, and an events calendar, with information on all Brexit related events taking place across London. It is part of the Mayor’s successful London Growth Hub that was launched two years ago as a one-stop shop for all business support in London, in partnership between the Mayor and the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “I recognise that a vibrant private sector – one that comprises of businesses, large and small – is absolutely vital for a strong and successful society.

“I’m under no illusion about the massive contribution businesses make - not only to London, but to the whole country. It’s why when I stood for this office, I vowed to be the most pro-business Mayor ever.

“And as we seek to navigate this period of heightened uncertainty, I want you to know that I’ll continue to stand up for your interests.

“Yes – we face some difficult days ahead. But I’ll continue to bang the drum for our city – getting the message out there - loud and clear - that London remains open. Open to business. Open to investment. And open to talented people from around the world. Be in no doubt, London is – and always will be – the greatest city in the world to do business.”

Crashing out of the EU with no deal could result in 500,000 fewer jobs across Britain by 2030 than if we remained a member of the EU – 87,000 fewer in London alone – and up to £50 billion lost in investment across the UK, according to independent economic analysis published by the Mayor earlier this year.

Sadiq is also increasingly concerned about the impact on the lives of the three million EU nationals living in the UK, approximately one million of whom live in London, warning ministers that they must have their full rights guaranteed and not be used as bargaining chips in negotiations.

Last night’s event saw Sadiq meet with business leaders and entrepreneurs from a range of industries, including financial and professional services, life sciences, technology, hospitality, retail and construction.

Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of London First, said: “With less than six months to go until we leave the EU, this new business hub will act as a valuable one-stop shop for advice and support to the capital’s firms navigating Brexit uncertainty.

“The Mayor is right to highlight the impact Brexit is having on EU citizens who help keep the wheels of the capital’s economy turning. We are calling on the Government to enshrine their right to remain in a new EU Citizens’ Bill as a priority, alongside securing a good deal that keeps our borders open for goods and our city open to the talented people who make London a leading global player.”

Simon Pitkeathley, LEAP Board Champion for Small Business & CEO of Euston Town and Camden Business Improvement Districts, said: “Whatever the outcome of Brexit is, business owners need to know what the implications will be to their business. I, along with many others, am pleased that the Mayor has launched his new Brexit Business Resource Hub. In a time of uncertainty for businesses, our City needs this forward-thinking and tactical approach to ensure that London’s economy remains strong and vibrant.”

Omid Ashtari, President & Head of Business, Citymapper: “For companies of all shapes and sizes, Brexit poses a great challenge that we will have to face over the coming years. Tonight’s event allows businesses from across many different sectors to come together with the Mayor and stand united during these uncertain times.”

Notes to editors

To date the Growth Hub has met with over 13,000 entrepreneurs, received over 15 million impressions through social media, and provided face-to-face business support to over 2,000 businesses.

The web portal is unique in bringing together London’s vast business support over in to a single portal. It includes over 500 business support schemes, signposts to over 250 business support events and provides a whole range of online resources, from factsheets and podcasts to inspiring case studies from other businesses.

More information about the independent economic analysis of Brexit on London carried out for the Mayor by Cambridge Econometrics can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/jobs-under-threat-from-brexit

Aeriel Curtny Kronberg