Letter to the FT from Policy Chairman Mark Boleat on City rents

Dear Sir,

Small and medium-sized businesses have always been a thriving hub of activity in the City of London (“Small businesses find London too costly”, FT, October 16th) and we remain committed to encouraging their growth. That is why we provide support and advice to not only the 14,000 SMEs already established in the Square Mile but also to budding enterprises wishing to set up here - the numbers of which have grown by a healthy eight per cent since 2011. This includes issues like accessing finance, sustainable procurement and helping firms to find suitable premises. Indeed on the latter point, our dedicated property team will work hand-in-hand to help get the best solution that works for them. We provide a wide stock of office space for far cheaper than the $150 per square foot that CBRE suggest with over 50 per cent of buildings being built or refurbished since 1997. Options like serviced offices in the Square Mile, with recent research showing over 2,000 firms in the City are already taking this up, also present attractive alternatives and more flexibility to taking out a longer term lease.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ