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UK must stop exodus of growth companies – City's Lord Mayor

Tradition: Nicholas Lyons is the 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London

UK must stop exodus of growing businesses

According to the city’s Lord Mayor, promising fast-growing businesses are “leaving our shores” at an alarming rate in search of better opportunities.

So-called ‘growth firms’ are being lured overseas by more attractive business environments, said Nicholas Lyons.

Tradition: Nicholas Lyons is the 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London

Tradition: Nicholas Lyons is the 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London

His warning came as business leaders called for more help for growing businesses in infant industries. While the UK is good at developing technologies, they said, it is less successful in helping them as they develop.

Some companies are tackling this problem – HSBC has issued the first loan from its £250m Growth Loan Fund, aimed at high-growth tech scale-ups.

He handed over £15million to P2i, which uses nanotechnology to create waterproof coatings for electronics. But HSBC’s James Cundy said the bank’s Growth Lending Fund was only a fraction of what was needed, although he hoped it would be extended.

Lyons, the 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “We need to do more to support high-growth businesses that attract talent, grow our economy and will lead future wealth creation.

“Companies, intellectual property and people are leaving, as they are acquired by the most sophisticated and well-capitalized asset owners in other global centers such as New York.”

Cundy told the Mail: “It’s really important that we continue to support these scale-ups as they are a great way to attract talent to the UK.” Around 50% of GDP comes from scale-ups.

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