The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan today hailed small businesses as “the backbone of London’s economy”, as he launched a new £8.7m service to help them grow, develop, and thrive.
Grow London Local (GLL), delivered by London & Partners, the capital’s business growth and destination agency, will provide both in-person and online services for small businesses across London. Grow London Local’s 24 Small Business Advisors are working in the community, supporting underserved entrepreneurs who face additional barriers to finding help.
This could include signposting to support, providing business planning, skills, sales and marketing guidance, as well as opportunities to connect and network with like-minded business owners and mentors. Later this year, businesses will also be able to access skills training from the Mayor’s Adult Education Budget through the Grow London Local programme.
Grow London Local delivers on the Mayor’s 2021 manifesto pledge to create a ‘single front door’ for small business support, bringing together various schemes and support packages under a single banner, boosted by the knowledge and experience of London & Partners.
The scheme has been in a pilot stage since November 2023, during which time 811 small businesses have already received support both online or by discussing their businesses’ requirements in person with Grow London Local’s team of expert Business Support Managers. The programme has supported businesses in every London borough in the last three months.
Grow London Local is aiming to work with more than 12,000 small businesses in this way between now and March 2025.
There are estimated to be around one million small businesses in London (defined as employing up to 249 people), with one in four currently facing financial vulnerability
Grow London Local will help firms access the right support at the right time, helping entrepreneurs to thrive and become financially resilient.
Today the Mayor visited Camden Lock Market to meet with some of the first businesses to receive support, these include craft jewellers Let’s Jam and long-established reggae emporium Massive International London.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The capital’s one million small businesses are the backbone of our economy, delivering the services and products we all take for granted to live our daily lives. Yet they are often cruelly overlooked when it comes to Government support, despite frequently operating with wafer-thin margins.
“That’s why I’m proud to launch Grow London Local, a ‘one stop shop’ for all small business support needs, giving business owners the skills and connections they need to not just survive but thrive.
“I am proud to be London’s most pro-business mayor ever and supporting our fantastic small businesses is a key component of my work to build a better and more prosperous London for everyone.”
Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners, said: “Being an entrepreneur can feel really lonely. There’s lots of support out there, but too often London business owners aren’t getting the help they’re entitled to.
“Grow London Local exists to change that. You can talk to a friendly, local advisor who will put you in touch with support that’s relevant to your needs – whether it’s marketing, a business mentor, advice on getting finance, or training for your staff.”