London businesses believe in their city, study shows

Wednesday 19 December 2012

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The vast majority of London businesses continue to rate the capital as a great place to do business.

In a poll conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG, 92 per cent of company bosses rated London as a 'good' or 'very good' trading centre.

This was up from 86 per cent when the survey was last conducted in July 2012.

Businesses are seemingly returning to confidence, with 61 per cent of London firms set to hire as normal during the coming six months.

Just 16 per cent of bosses said they would be recruiting normal levels of staff between July and December 2012, suggesting that conditions are improving.

In addition, the numbers reporting a recruitment freeze fell from 51 per cent to 31 per cent.

And those making redundancies shrank from 31 per cent to 21 per cent, over the same period.

Sara Parker, CBI director for London, said it is "really encouraging news" for London that the hiring freeze seen earlier in the year has begun to thaw and more companies are now getting back to recruiting as normal.

"While firms are still cautious about the economy, 2012 has been an upbeat year for the capital and many firms are feeling buoyed by our Olympic success and are positive about London as a place to invest and do business," she stated.

“Now we need London companies to use the springboard of the Games to break into new high-growth markets."

Ms Parker said the support of the Mayor to promote the capital’s businesses around the globe will be crucial to this, but firms also want to see urgent action to improve airport capacity.

Richard Reid, London chairman of KPMG, said the city is becoming "an even more attractive place to invest and do business", especially with the added glow of a successful Olympics under the city’s belt.

“Transport is vital to the capital’s strength, so it’s good to see firms think that most areas are improving."

He welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of a funding commitment for the Northern Line extension to Battersea in his Autumn Statement, describing this as "great news for London".

"Let’s hope that HS2 gets off the drawing board soon, and we also need a solution for our overburdened airports, so that London does not lose out to other cities in attracting international business," Mr Reid stated.

Posted by Alex Boardman