Building a business-friendly Kingston

Kingston Council has pledged to “make things easier and better for businesses” in the borough.

The Kingston Business Breakfast Briefing, the first under the new Liberal Democrat administration, kick-started a borough-wide discussion on what entrepreneurs require from the Council and its partners to help their enterprises succeed.

Speakers at the Kingston University-hosted event included small business owners, representatives from the borough’s major developers, landowners and senior members of the Council.

There was overwhelming support for the flexible, affordable workspace for start-ups at Kingston University and the forthcoming Royal Exchange.

Further suggestions to support businesses ranged from enhanced digital networking and mentoring to drawing up a strategy to reverse the flow of 40,000 people out of the borough each day for work.

John Sweeney, a Lib Dem Councillor in Berrylands, said: “One of the key aims of this new Lib Dem administration is to start building a vibrant business community in Kingston.

“We want to try to make things easier and better for businesses here. It’s important to expand the discussion in Kingston when we talk about economic regeneration and business expansion.”

Liz Green, Lib Dem Councillor for St Marks and Leader of Kingston Council, added: “As a Council, we know we need to do more to provide support to homeworkers and small businesses, which are essential to the well-being of this borough.”

Liz spoke during the breakfast briefing, and highlighted how a stronger partnership across the whole community, including residents, the public & voluntary sectors and businesses, is vital — urging businesses to support the community by encouraging staff to volunteer with local organisations and sign up to ‘Time to Change’ to challenge the stigma of mental health issues.

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