London firms demand goverment support to shore up business confidence in 2017

Mark Sands
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London's Economic Boom Continues
The LCCI survey found that both domestic and export demand remained negative in Q4. (Source: Getty)

London businesses are demanding new government support to shore up confidence through an uncertain 2017.

With Prime Minister Theresa May expected to trigger Article 50 before the end of March, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry argues firms have handled the initial shock of Brexit.

However, following its latest Quarterly Economic Survey, it has warned that firms need more support in the form of improved airport capacity, and measures to protect firms from a loss of skilled workers thanks to migration reform.

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In addition, it has demanded changes to business rates rules so that London firms do not see dramatic increases in April this year.

“Much remains uncertain, but it is clear that businesses, after the initial shock of the referendum, have demonstrated their resilience and underlying strengths, as demonstrated by the uptick in most indicators of London business performance,” LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge said.

“With the political events and repercussions of 2016, it has never been so important to focus on efforts to strengthen the foundations of London's economy and its ability to deal with the challenges.”

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The LCCI Q4 survey found that after five quarters of declining figures, businesses in the capital are actually slightly more positive on expectations for both the British and London economies, although both remain in negative territory.

Inner London businesses were more pessimistic than those based in the outer regions of the capital, while micro-businesses showed less positivity on the prospects of the London economy than larger firms.

Domestic demand remained negative in Q4, despite improving, with more businesses reporting a decline than an increase in sales and orders from within the UK.

Export demand continued to decline, with figures for both sales and orders both falling for a third consecutive quarter.

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