London’s businesses have recovered optimism about future growth, despite a third revealing that staff have quit their jobs because living in the capital is just too expensive.According to the CBI/CBRE London Business Survey, almost half of London’s companies, 47 per cent, are feeling more positive about the UK’s economic prospects in the next six months, reversing the steady decline seen since the first quarter of 2014. It said 40 per cent of companies felt more positive about business prospects with the number of firms planning to expand solely in the capital, 50 per cent, at its highest level since 2012. This is despite 57 per cent of firms citing housing costs and availability as negatively affecting abilities to recruit entry level staff – with almost a third of respondents stating that employees are actually having to leave their jobs and move because costs are too high. Two thirds of businesses, 63 per cent, said there isn’t enough funding for affordable housing in London and over three quarters who do not believe that the target of building 42,000 new homes a year, set out in the London housing strategy, will be met. Indeed, a need to build more homes and invest in the capital’s transport infrastructure turned out to be the business community’s top priorities for London’s next mayor. Nearly four in five businesses highlighted improving the capital’s transport infrastructure and reducing congestion as the number one issue the new mayor must get down to tackling when they enter City Hall next year. The survey respondents also called for better digital connectivity to support the growing creative and financial technology companies the city plays host to, a streamlined planning system to speed up infrastructure decision making and business rate reforms. The biggest concern within their own businesses for leaders was retaining skilled employees followed by concern over the UK’s role in the EU. Over half of companies are continuing to increase headcount, although cutting costs is a top priority, with three in five firms only hiring where essential. Read more about England’s capital:
- London SMEs look to millennials to deliver business growth and success
- London tech investments at record high with 66 per cent growth – what about the UK?
- Is London losing its hold as the UK’s hub for growing businesses?
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