Sadiq Khan launches small businesses roadshow

Labour Party candidate for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has today launched a roadshow for small businesses, setting out a series of commitments to put London's SMEs centre-stage in his Mayoralty and ensure London's businesswomen have a greater say.

Sadiq Khan is teaming up with Seema Malhotra, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, for the series of events aimed at finding out what small businesses want from the Mayor.

He has pledged to be "the most pro-business Mayor of London yet", while ensuring 'London's women business leaders play a key role' in a new Business Advisory Board.

City Hall London (PD)

His plans include:

· A business advisory board to help shape policy – made up of independent business leaders, not political appointees.

· Ensuring London's businesswomen are properly represented on the Business Advisory Board.

· Protect space for small businesses in the London Plan, and create more – including new start-up spaces as part of new residential and mixed-use developments, and affordable live-work units.

· Offering small and medium-sized enterprises, (SMEs) business-rate incentives for becoming London Living Wage employers, if the Chancellor devolves power over business rates to the Mayor.

· Skills for Londoners, a new skills partnership with business, focused on ensuring more Londoners are trained in the skills business needs to grow.

Sadiq Khan will be on the lookout for fresh ideas and new thinking in his roadshow, which will be taken all round London.

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Sadiq Khan said:

"Seema and I are great believers in the potential of small business. We want them to grow, and create well-paid, skilled jobs. We want to know from them what we can do to help them flourish.

"We don't pretend to have all the answers. We want to crowdsource the best ideas to help London's businesses to grow from the experts – businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

"Our advisers will be independent business leaders – not political appointees, or those who have been supportive of Labour. And we will ensure London's women business leaders play a key role, with equal representation on the Business Advisory Board I'll be setting up."

Seema Malhotra MP added:

"Our small businesses play a huge role in powering our local economies and strengthening our communities.

"Sadiq and I both have a background in small business and we are committed to make sure the voice of small businessmen and women is heard in London and across the UK.

"Sadiq Khan got an insight into the challenges facing small businesses when he was a partner in a law firm before he became an MP, helping to take it from just two partners to an organisation with more than 50 employees.

"The roadshow will also turn its attention to skills – with many small businesses reporting problems in getting workers with the right skills. If elected, Sadiq Khan will set up Skills for Londoners – a new partnership between business, the Mayor, educators and boroughs, dedicated to ensuring more Londoners are trained in the skills that businesses need to grow, modelled on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's 'Jobs for New Yorkers' task force."

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