Cost of Doing Business Hub
Here at London Business Hub, we know that rising costs are a significant challenge for businesses across the capital. That’s why we’ve brought together practical resources and support to help you adapt and navigate the rising cost of doing business.
London Business Hub guides
London Business Hub has published a series of practical guides on the steps you can take to protect your business, avoid cash flow problems, and manage business finances:
Hot topic | Energy bills support for business
A new energy scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector has been confirmed, ahead of the current scheme ending in March. The new scheme will mean eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024.
From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see a unit discount of up to £6.97/MWh automatically applied to their gas bill and a unit discount of up to £19.61/MWh applied to their electricity bill, except for those benefitting from lower energy prices.
A substantially higher level of support will be provided to businesses in sectors identified as being the most energy and trade intensive – predominately manufacturing industries.
The South East London Community Energy co-operative (Selce) is a community energy group tackling climate change and fuel poverty across south east London. It offers impartial advice services to help businesses navigate the transition to clean energy.
The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust energy benchmark tool helps small and medium-sized businesses assess typical energy use in their sector. It covers the hospitality, office-based, manufacturing, retail and leisure sectors.
The Carbon Trust also has a range of other online tools to help businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs:
- Carbon footprint calculator.
- Build a business case for energy efficiency investment.
- Business vehicle fleet upgrade tool.
Ofgem provides advice on how to get help if your business can’t afford its energy bills, as well as general energy advice.
The British Chambers of Commerce has published an article with advice about how installing a smart meter can help businesses manage their energy use.
Resources and support for business
CBI has brought together a range of resources to help you tackle rising business costs. They cover four key areas:
- Workforce costs.
- Decarbonisation and energy costs.
- Operational resilience.
- Economic intelligence.
NatWest has published a series of articles with advice and support to help navigate rising costs, covering:
- Business costs and cash flow.
- Help with financial difficulties.
Recovery Loan Scheme
The Recovery Loan Scheme, which originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the pandemic, has been extended to 2024.
The Recovery Loan Scheme is currently open to small and medium-sized businesses to support them to access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.
Up to £2 million is available per business group. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. The government guarantees 70% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.
Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.
Good Business Pays has launched a new initiative to encourage larger businesses to pay their small suppliers as fast as possible to help them maintain their cash flow and combat the rising cost of doing business.
The Wait Off campaign is backed by the Small Business Commissioner and leaders from some of the UK’s biggest business groups including the CBI, FSB and British Chambers of Commerce.
Organisations of any size can back the campaign, and you can download a free digital pack to show your support.
Business Debtline is a charity providing free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It also provides a range of debt advice factsheets on topics such as:
- Business rates.
- Business debts.
- Managing business finances.
- Dealing with creditors.
- Debt solutions.
The British Business Bank
The British Business Bank provides signposting to sources of advice and guidance on managing business debt, such as independent advisers, banks, HM Revenue & Customs and industry bodies.
Time to Pay
If you cannot pay your Self-Assessment tax bill in full, the Time to Pay service from HM Revenue & Customs may allow you to pay what you owe in instalments.
Taking action on climate change can help you save money through efficiencies. Visit our Climate Hub to find out more and access our range of resources and support.
The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC)
The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC) is an energy efficiency programme which supports businesses to reduce their energy consumption and to accelerate building decarbonisation efforts in London. Emissions from heating and powering London’s commercial and industrial buildings currently make up 36% of the capital’s carbon footprint.
The programme provides free support to help make buildings more energy efficient, reduce energy costs and support businesses on their pathway to zero carbon. The BCC has been developed with pro bono support from Bloomberg Associates, and builds on learnings from other global cities.
ReLondon provides practical, one-to-one support and consultancy to help small and medium-sized businesses grow by translating circular principles into opportunities. Access support to:
- Discover how to design circularity into your business to make the most of resources, cut costs and tap into new revenue opportunities.
- Assess and test the circularity of your business.
- Scale your business and expand your networks.
Sustainable Ventures have partnered with the Mayor of London to provide businesses with four hours of free tailored support to assist you with your net zero readiness strategy.
Help with the cost of living
Mayor of London
Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 are available under the Mayor of London Warmer Homes Scheme. Recently the Mayor recorded a video about the cost of living crisis, urging Londoners to apply to the Mayor’s Warmer Homes programme. Grants are available to eligible low-income homeowners and private tenants who earn below £30,0000 to make home improvements. It is open to all Londoners who meet the eligibility criteria.
Energy Bills Support Scheme
Households will receive £400 towards their energy bills this winter, with payments made in 6 instalments from October 2022. The discounts will be administered by energy suppliers – those who pay for their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills over the 6 month period.
Prepayment meter customers will be provided with discount vouchers from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details. These customers will need to redeem these at their usual top-up point, such as their nearest local PayPoint or Post Office branch.
Find out more about the scheme.
Energy Price Guarantee
From 1 October 2022, the Energy Price Guarantee will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a typical household in Great Britain pays, on average, around £2,500 a year on their energy bill.
A Treasury-led review will be launched to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.
On 15 March 2023, the Chancellor confirmed that the Energy Price Guarantee at its current level will be extended to the end of June 2023 for households.
Mayor of London’s cost of living hub
The Mayor of London has launched a cost of living hub. The hub includes information about the benefits, grants and discounts Londoners can get if they’re in financial difficulty, from the Mayor of London, government, your local council, charities and advice centres.
Government cost of living campaign
The Government has also launched a new cost of living campaign bringing together the various schemes to support households. It also provides information on what offers are available from businesses to help with the cost of living.
Debt advice from StepChange
StepChange is a debt charity that provides a range of advice and support services, as well as information to help people get their finances back on track.
Entrepreneur Week | 24 – 28 April 2023
Free events helping London’s small businesses to be more resilient.
Business Support From Your Borough
Useful contacts, business support and advice from your local borough.
Resources to help you spot and prevent cyberattacks.