The City, the Square Mile at the heart of London’s business and finance sector, is often thought of as the home of huge multinationals and big banks. But the figures show that the reality is very different. In fact, as the infographic below shows, over 98% of companies based in the City are small or medium enterprises (SMEs), employing fewer than 250 people, and great majority of those have fewer than twenty employees. Like many thriving and diverse urban environments the City and its neighbouring areas are home to a wide variety of businesses - in terms of the profile of their owners, their employees, their industry sector or specialism and their size.
The picture is very similar in the City's neighbouring boroughs as well. The interactive infographic below shows you the breakdown of businesses by number of employees in the City and its neighbouring boroughs.
Click on each borough for a full breakdown and hover over the chart for actual figures.
It is not just the size of businesses that vary, the City of London's report Mapping SMEs in the City also shows that within the Square Mile there exist clusters of SMEs in a number of key sectors, including legal, technical and general business support, hospitality, catering, retail, technology, communications, media, real estate, construction and recruitment.
So although big businesses,and financial and professional services are a significant contributor to the economy with financial services contributing around 10% to GVA, and a similar proportion to UK tax revenue, and although these types of business do form an important part of the City's economy and character, it is critical that businesses of all sizes and from many sectors thrive. For businesses starting up, moving or growing in and around the City, the opportunity to be a part of a diverse business eco system, in close proximity to a major business hub offering a pool of clients and suppliers, formal and informal networking opportunities, infrastructure and expertise can be a huge advantage.
More statistics, research and analysis of London's SMEs and the UK economy, available for free download at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/economicresearch