City of London Corporation launches a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Strategy for the first time

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Group shot inside Ampitheatre
Image credit City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation has launched a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Strategy for the first time.

The strategy was announced at a celebration launch event held at the Guildhall on Wednesday 12 June. The evening also included insights from Winner of the 2022 Apprentice and founder of Oh So Yum, Harpreet Kaur.

The City Corporation will support SMEs, primarily through facilitating:

  • Access to Finance – Working closely with institutions such as the British Business Bank and Highstreet banks to help City businesses navigate what finance options are open to them.
  • Access to Data – Support SMEs access the City Corporation’s wide range of business databases, to empower them with valuable data-driven insights and helping them mitigate risks and capitalise on growth opportunities in a competitive business environment.
  • Access to Space – Support growing firms to locate and expand in the City through activation of empty units and meanwhile use.
  • Access to Expertise – Build on existing in-house expertise to strengthen the City’s offer and work more closely with City organisations such as the Company of Entrepreneurs, as well as offer free mentoring in partnership with the Association of Business Mentors.
  • Access to Networks – A vibrant business environment by supporting networking opportunities and enhancing our existing events programme.

The City has the highest concentration anywhere in the UK with over 21,000 SMEs. The tech sector has grown by 130 firms (5%) in the past year or 365 (17%) since pre-pandemic 2019.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy” said Chief Executive of the LCCI, Karim Fatehi MBE.

He added, “SMEs make up a vast proportion of businesses operating in the City of London.

“Ensuring they have access to the necessary tools and resources is of prime importance to the growth of the City and for London as a whole.”

Mark Huxley, Master at the Company of Entrepreneurs said, “With SMEs driving so much of the City, it’s vital that they have a fair share of voice.

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Image credit City of London Corporation

We are fully committed therefore to supporting this exciting strategic commitment in every way that we are able.”

Policy Chairman for the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, developed the strategy with key contributions from Lead Member for SMEs, Paul Singh, with the hopes to bolster the support ecosystem for SMEs within the Square Mile.

Mr Hayward said, “We are thrilled to introduce our first SME Strategy, which represents a significant step towards making the City of London the premier destination to start and grow a business.

Our commitment to small businesses is unwavering, and this strategy will ensure they have the support needed to thrive.”

Michael Lassman, London Regional Chair, FSB, said, “Supporting small businesses to access finance, win procurement contracts and attract new business are key priorities and this will lead to growth and greater employment opportunities.”

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