The London Mayor is facing calls from a major business pressure group urging him to take action by helping small firms. This was brought about after a major survey showed that footfall, profits and confidence levels have dropped alarmingly since the London terror attacks and Congestion Charge price hike last July.
Based on the released survey of the Forum of Private Business (FPB) on 1000 London-based small-to-medium sized firms, over 58 percent of firms have reported a downturn in their profits ever since the July bombings. Also, two-thirds of the firms have said that they experience a drop in footfall after the terrorist attack. Meanwhile, a quarter of the firms surveyed said that they have thought of relocating their business after the terrorist incident.
The changes in the Congestion Charge – increased by 60 percent fro £5 to £8 a few days before the July 7 subway attacks – has also negatively affected businesses, with two-thirds saying so. One-third of the firms also admitted that they have thought of transferring their businesses elsewhere because of the Congestion Change increase. In fact, 80% of the companies are supporting calls for a six-month suspension of the Congestion Charge. They attest that this moratorium will be good for London business.
Company formation and business solutions experts warn that if the government does not listen to the voice of London-based businesses it can have long-term economic effects that could further harm the London economy.
FPB Chief Executive Nick Goulding also added that action from the government is urgently needed because the critical Christmas shopping season is near.