Business, prosperity and opportunity

The opportunities that I benefited from – which led to me becoming a partner in a law firm and then MP for the neighbourhood where I grew up – I owe to London’s prosperity, openness and spirit of enterprise.

Helping run and grow that business, taught me the challenges that the business community faces. I want to be the most pro-business Mayor yet - working with business, in partnership, to make London a more prosperous city and to spread the opportunity that brings to all Londoners.

London skyline

London is the world’s greatest commercial centre – the business capital not just of Britain, but of Europe. We are an established world-leader in finance, creative industries and business services, and a growing force in newer industries such as tech, low carbon and life sciences, as well as having some of the most innovative manufacturing businesses around. Because it is such a great place to live and work in, London attracts organisations, talent and investment from across the globe.

But retaining our place at the top is not a given. We need to work hard together to stay competitive, to increase productivity, and to make the most of opportunities for growth in our traditional and new industries. And we need to make it possible for all Londoners to reach the top, regardless of their background, race, religion or gender.

The wellbeing of Londoners and the prosperity of our businesses are inseparable and mutually dependent. Many of the challenges that affect the prosperity and living standards of you and your family are the same problems that hold business back – the housing crisis, the need for a more affordable transport network with new capacity, the shortage of skills, and the lack of available business space.

Dismantling the barriers to growth that exist, and increasing productivity, will be one of my priorities. I’m determined to be a ceaseless advocate for investment in London, and a champion for the interests of our industries, at home and abroad.

I believe an active Mayor, committed to London’s continued growth and prosperity, can do much more to support business than just attending a few trade missions and ribbon cuttings (though I’ll continue with those as well!). That’s why I’m determined to be the most pro-business Mayor of London yet. I’ll make engagement with industry – from small independents and start-ups to global corporations – a key part of decision making at City Hall. When it comes to planning London’s future economic development, infrastructure, skills and housing will be my foremost priorities. And I’ll build stronger partnerships between the private sector, public and voluntary agencies to work strategically across London – making sure that the good work that is done across the city on skills and economic development is properly joined up.

A partnership with business

I will work in partnership with business to deliver solutions to the challenges that hold growth back, and to help spread opportunity throughout our city. I will:

  • Create a Business Advisory Board – made up of experts, not of political allies – to provide me with guidance and insight to find the solutions to London’s growth challenges and to feedback on my policy.

  • Involve business in decision making on key issues of policy and planning, from skills and housing costs, to transport infrastructure and business space.

  • Establish Skills for Londoners, working with business to ensure Londoners have the skills they need to grow.

Supporting competitiveness and productivity

An active Mayor can help to break down the obstacles that hold back London’s firms and affect their competitiveness. I will:

  • Take action on London’s housing crisis – a step change in new housing supply, to rent and to buy, with first dibs for Londoners, and exploring incentives for businesses to provide investment in new homes which could benefit their workforce.

  • Make childcare more affordable and accessible with a strategy that delivers for business and workers – including key-worker status for childcare workers and campaigning for business rate relief for childcare providers.

  • Challenge unfair visa rules which make it harder for London businesses to bring in the world’s best talent, who in turn create future opportunities for Londoners.

Supporting small business and protecting business space

Our small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs are at the heart of our economy and our communities, and supporting them to grow, innovate and create wealth and jobs will be central to my plans. I will:

  • Prevent the loss of business space, by working with local authorities to stop the excessive conversion of commercial space under permitted development rights.

  • Promote the provision of small business and start-up premises in housing and commercial developments through the London Plan.

  • Provide live-work units as part of the Mayor’s affordable housing programme.

  • Support communities which want to keep the character of their high streets intact.

Championing London at home and abroad

London needs a passionate advocate, at home and abroad, to make the case for our businesses, for inward investment and tourism, and to ensure that decision makers in Westminster, Brussels and elsewhere hear the voice of Europe’s biggest commercial centre loud and clear. I will:

  • Champion London industry at home and abroad, making the case for inward investment in our city, and working to attract ever more global business.

  • Campaign to stay in a reformed EU, defending competitiveness and jobs by fighting for our membership of the world’s largest market, and protecting London’s status as its financial capital.

  • Establish City Hall as a strong voice for business at UK and EU level, working to ensure a level playing field for London and to protect our economy from unnecessary red tape and laws which could put our competitiveness at risk.

Building the infrastructure of the future

I speak with businesses across the city and I know how important it is we have the modern infrastructure we need as a city to grow and expand. I will:

  • Put business centre stage in planning our future infrastructure needs.

  • Plan for the long term, securing Crossrail 2, Bakerloo line and London Overground extensions, as well as new river crossings, and move on to discussions about Crossrail 3 and new orbital links.

  • Support new aviation capacity for London, backing a second runway at Gatwick and reviewing Boris Johnson’s decision on London City.

  • Seek additional fundraising powers from the Government for major infrastructure projects, such as those used for Crossrail.

Taking Tech to the next level

London can become a world-leading tech hub – as Mayor I’ll work to remove the barriers to growth in London tech, and take advantage of the innovative work happening in our city to improve governance. I will:

  • Establish a tech talent pipeline, through the Skills for Londoners taskforce, following the model developed by Bill de Blasio in New York, with more young people enabled and encouraged to gain key digital skills, and more apprenticeships in the sector. In particular I will ensure more girls are supported to develop tech skills, so that we can turn around the under-representation of women in tech jobs.

  • Improve our connectivity, making it a priority to tackle London’s ‘notspots’, ensuring better access to public-sector property for digital infrastructure, and treating digital infrastructure with the same status as other key public utilities.

  • Broker a deal between providers and local authorities to provide better access to public property and land for the installation of broadband infrastructure.

  • Appoint a Chief Digital Officer to oversee growth in the sector as well as taking responsibility for increasing digital inclusion across our city and leading on cyber-security.

  • Put an open data strategy at the heart of London government, with a new London data office working to bring data from across London’s boroughs and public agencies together, and opening it up to enable quicker decision making, better services, more efficient government, and greater transparency.

  • Support innovative tech solutions which enable Londoners to access and use public services and information more easily and efficiently.

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