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Want Brexit advice? Mayor of London sets up help hub in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 15:07 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 10 October 2019

Brexit support centres have been created across the capital. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

Brexit support centres have been created across the capital. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

PA Wire/PA Images

Do you have EU staff working for you? Or perhaps you want to find our about importing and exporting arrangements if Brexit takes place.

Whatever your business question about leaving the European Union, head on down to Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford for free-to-access support from November 1.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled nine new London growth hub centres across the capital which will offer face-to-face advice and resources.

Five will be major hubs and four will be satellite hub, with the Ilford service falling into the latter category.

Mr Khan is urging residents to take advantage of the help and guidance available at the centre and added: "Brexit is a disaster for London and one of the biggest risks of a hard or no-deal Brexit is that the majority of small businesses remain unprepared.

"The government has failed to provide any kind of certainty or the information and resources that entrepreneurs and businesses need - that's why I'm stepping up the advice and support available from City Hall during this important period.

"The London growth hub is a vital resource for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - and whether you need help with Brexit preparation, or other challenges facing your business, I urge all of London's entrepreneurs to make use of the brilliant new business advice centres we are establishing across the city."

Director of policy and public affairs at London chamber of commerce and industry, Sean McKee, added: " [We are] acutely aware that there is a real mixed picture of Brexit preparations in the capital.

"Some businesses are prepared, some are preparing, others feel they can't prepare, and some feel they don't need to prepare.

"Our most recent research highlighted that nearly a fifth of London businesses polled said they needed support in order to be able to plan.

"This is why we welcome the support announced by the Mayor, which adds to the work that business organisations in London are doing to ensure the impact of Brexit is mitigated as best possible."

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London policy chairwoman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Sue Terpilowski OBE, said Brexit preparations are "hitting the skids" with the picture still not clear as to how the UK will leave the EU on October 31.

"Until we get clarity, small firms in London must prepare for the cliff edge where possible, which is why we welcome the new, free business support being provided.

"Amongst those FSB members that belief a no-deal scenario on 31 October will negatively impact them, nearly two-thirds don't think they are able to plan.

"Therefore, all forms of business support such as the package being announced today are critical to navigate the uncharted and turbulent waters of a potential no-deal Brexit."

Among the businesses which have benefitted from the events and support offered through the London growth hub ahead of Brexit are public affairs consultancy Landmark, and planning and construction software provider Kreo.

Associate director at Landmark, Kevin Doran, said: "Landmark Public Affairs is pleased to be supporting this very important initiative.

"It is critical that small and medium-sized enterprises in London prepare for a completely new trading relationship with the European Union.

"There will be a host of new things for SMEs to consider and not all of them are immediately obvious.

"While it may not be possible to be completely ready, there are certain things you can do to prepare for Brexit, whether we leave with or without a deal.

"These workshops help participants identify issues that they can influence or prepare for, which, in turn, will help prevent any damage to their ongoing relationship with customers."

Major hubs are located in Croydon, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey and Lambeth.

Satellite hubs will be in Haringey, Harrow, Lambeth and Redbridge.

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