Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has published his new Economic Development Strategy, promising greater opportunities for small businesses.

A fairer, more inclusive economySadiq Khan Opportunities for Small Businesses

In his Economic Development Strategy, the Mayor sets out his plans to create “a fairer, more inclusive economy that works for all Londoners.”

The Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy prioritises:

  • Helping more Londoners into work by tackling barriers to employment, particularly for women, disabled people and those from ethnic minorities
  • Working closely with trade unions, businesses and civic society organisations to promote economic fairness, including promoting the London Living Wage and the Good Work Standard, a 2019 initiative to promote good practice in employment
  • Lobbying the government for an approach to immigration that allows talent from around the world to live, work and study in London
  • Developing a new world-class, fit-for-purpose skills and education system that meets the needs of businesses and London’s economy

While London is one of the richest cities in the world, it is home to some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the country, and the Strategy aims to ensure no Londoner is left behind as the capital moves towards a more prosperous future.

The Mayor said: “Our Economic Development Strategy sets out how we can build an economy that works for all Londoners, and ensure that they have access to the opportunities that this city gave to me and my family.

“The strategy sets out how we will work to build a more inclusive economy that works for all Londoners – an economy that enables everyone to reach their full potential, supports entrepreneurs and small businesses and ensures neither opportunity, nor achievement are limited by gender, race, sexuality, religion, disability or background.”

Bringing tech benefits to small businesses

To further his goal of equal opportunity and prosperity, the Mayor is launching a new online resource in 2019 to help small businesses understand and take advantage of technology and AI, as larger companies are already doing. The hope is that this will help them grow their businesses, secure new customers and become more productive and competitive.

The resource will provide sector-specific information on the latest technologies, direct small businesses to where they can access new technologies, and offer a forecasting tool to help them better understand the financial benefits of new technologies. It will be available on the Growth Hub – a one-stop shop for all business support in London, in partnership between the Mayor and the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP).

“London has a burgeoning tech scene, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality and cybersecurity – and through our new tech initiative, we are determined to ensure that small businesses can tap into the benefits that these new technologies offer,” said Mr Khan.

Since becoming Mayor, Sadiq Khan has worked to support London’s businesses, standing up for London’s employers in the Brexit negotiations, investing a record amount to train Londoners for the jobs of tomorrow and successfully lobbying ministers to reduce the impact of business rates increases.

The Mayor’s support for small businesses is being delivered alongside a focus on investment in skills. His Skills for Londoners initiative aims to support businesses to ensure they’re prepared for the opportunities technology and automation bring. He is also investing £7m to find and develop the next generation of home-grown tech talent to meet a growing digital skills shortage in the capital.

If you’re a small business owner in London, why not take a look at The Growth Hub, which has details of available support and upcoming events as well as a useful resource library.