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London’s small businesses in railway arches

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Russell Caroline Russell Green

Recently constituents met with Transport for London (TfL) representatives to discuss small businesses in TfL’s arches and their rents. These constituents were told by the TfL representative that their objective was to receive maximum rent rather than to support small and creative businesses fairly. On page 117 of TfL’s Business Plan 2019 and page 147 of the draft Business Plan 2020 there are references to balancing rental income and social good. What are you doing to ensure TfL is fairly treating small business owners in the arches?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Transport for London (TfL) and I have been consistently clear that TfL must recognise the balance between its commercial obligations and its wider social imperative, not least because 86 per cent of its customer base is made up of small businesses.

Last year TfL published its Statement of Support for Small Business (available online) becoming the first landlord to respond to the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSBs’) plea to publicly show commitment to small businesses. The statement outlines how TfL is helping its small business tenants whilst maintaining rental income goals.

More broadly, TfL continues to work closely with the FSB, the East End Trades Guild and others.

Later this year, TfL will publish a Small Business Policy, setting out its wider approach to small and micro businesses, including specific measures of social value.