2020 London Business 1000

London's local business survey

  • By London Councils

This year, for the fourth time, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and London Councils have commissioned a local business survey of Greater London. 

Leading polling firm YouGov sampled 1,250 businesses, which for the first time included an additional 250 responses from large businesses (with 250 employees or more).  The final figures have been weighted to be representative of London businesses by size and industry, while the detailed report breaks down the findings by business size, sector and London’s 4 subregion.

Summary Report

Main Report

Headline findings show that:

Business Confidence

  • Half of business leaders see cashflow as a main threat to business recovery from COVID-19.
  • Grants via local councils, VAT relief, an extension of the business rates holiday, and continuation of workforce support are all seen as the most useful business support to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
  • 84% of London business leaders are less confident about London’s economy than they were a year ago, and 86% in the UK economy.

Skills, apprenticeships and recruitment

  • 44% of businesses recruited or tried to recruit in 2020, with 41% of business leaders expecting to recruit staff over the next year (rising to 77% of large firms).
  • 63% of businesses say that staff retention has stayed the same since the COVID-19 outbreak, but three in ten (31%) say it has decreased.
  • Upskilling employees’ digital skills is the highest priority for London businesses in training their own workforce.
  • Overall, only 8% of London businesses currently employ apprentices, down from 13% in the 2019 survey. A quarter of businesses state that they do not know whether they use apprenticeship funding or not.

Remote working

  • The number of London businesses that had no one working remotely moved from 51% in 2019, to 25% in 2020.
  • Almost half (46%) of business leaders expect to have over two-fifths of their staff still regularly working remotely in twelve months’ time.  A third of business leaders say all of their staff will return to working in-person in a year’s time. The number of business leaders saying that 81-100% of their staff will regularly work from home a year from now has doubled (22%) compared to 2019’s figure (11%).

Climate Change

  • 78% of businesses are currently taking action to reduce their environmental impact.
  • 23% businesses see no barrier to reducing their emissions.
  • 57% cite financial incentives as a key motivator to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and this is the greatest enabler across all sizes of business.
  • 47% of large businesses are significantly more likely to feel motivated to lower their emissions if there was a reputational benefit
  • Encouraging tele-commuting or remote working (37%) is the most common way businesses plan to reduce their environmental impact.