“London is a good place to do business”, say 87% of firms in the capital
However many see infrastructure as a weakness
Almost 90% of companies in London rate the capital as a good, or very good place to do business, according to a new study.
The survey, carried out on behalf of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) by tax and audit firm KMPG, gauged the mood of 188 London-based companies, half of which were small and medium sized firms.
Their responses revealed a widespread mood of optimism across Britain’s largest city. 65% of respondents said they plan to expand within the next six months; with a further 36% saying they also intend to explore opportunities outside of the UK.
Encouragingly, the number of companies making redundancies has fallen from 29% to 20% over the past six months, and 57% of respondents claimed their recruitment levels have now returned to pre-recession levels.
However, a quarter of firms confessed to feeling less optimistic about the economy, indicateing that some uncertainty still persists.
Sara Parker, regional director of the CBI, said: “It’s great news to see that more London firms are hiring as normal and redundancies have fallen. Many businesses are planning to expand, but this optimism is clearly tempered by uncertainty about the economy”.
When asked to cite the biggest problem with doing business in London, respondents pointed to the poor state of infrastructure across the capital.
Indeed, many of those who replied to the survey urged London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, to make improving infrastructure a priority.
Parker continued: “London is a great place to do business. Companies view the city’s talent pool, ease of access to global markets and proximity to clients as the Capital’s biggest strengths, but high operating costs and the fragile transport system are seen as major weaknesses”.