We may be in for a mass exodus of small businesses from London. This isn’t just down to commercial property price rises but due to ever increasing inflation affecting costs at every level from food to rent to commuter rail and tube ticket prices. This morning BBC News stated that commuters in London are planning to stage a protest at Waterloo station over a recently announced rail fare price rise of 8% on already high ticket prices (with season ticket holders being hit the hardest).
UK inflation is already much higher than expected and is continuing to rise, resulting in higher rental costs for both personal and commercial properties. This combined with increased rail and transportation costs on top of already high food prices means many in bigger cities, which are naturally more expensive, will be forced out to areas with lower rent and less dependence on costly commuting (whether by rail or car).
But when much of UK business success seems to be dictated by coveted big city post and area codes (specifically London) just how are smaller businesses going to cope when forced to be shuffled off to the cheaper fringes? For those determined to keep their office separate from their home, the move may prove difficult as a massive relocation in phone number and address can alienate customers, with some potentially being lost in the move.
If work is shifted to home offices with occasional meeting room hires in London on an as needed basis, combined with virtual London office phone numbers, fax to email services and mail forwarding, then small business has every possibility of rising above inflation and coming out on top.
So, could virtual offices and meeting room hires save London businesses? Yes, they very well could.