Condeco urges more support on property costs and access to skills to maintain the UK’s momentum.

London, UK – March, 2015 – The final budget before the general election is expected to hinge on a radical shake up of business rates to support the UK’s business and prevent excessive property costs from holding their ability to invest in growth and innovation. Mid-size businesses now contribute £165bn to the UK’s GDP, up 33 per cent in five years.

Paul Statham, CEO of London-based technology company Condeco Software, which has created new capital and jobs in 10 years of rapid growth, is keen to see the government focus on providing the UK’s backbone of SMEs with the access to finance and skills needed to carry our economic future.

With the UK retaining its position as the most expensive office market in the world for the third year running, and rented space costing £1,698 per square metre every year in London, Paul urges the government to ensure the radical business rates reforms protect companies from being unfairly penalised.

“We work closely with some of the country’s leading companies to help them effectively utilise their office space, and the sheer cost of maintaining a property can be a huge barrier to growth, especially when business requires a central location.

“The UK enjoys a prestigious position as the most desirable location for the world’s leading businesses, and this high level of demand is naturally accompanied by high prices, especially in the core of the City. However, while property prices are the result of market forces, I believe many of our businesses are paying over the odds on business rates. We must avoid a situation where businesses are taxed for being successful, and I hope the rates reforms currently on the table achieve this.”

Condeco, which is itself headquartered in Canary Wharf, saw global turnover increase a record 51 per cent this year to $25m. The London-based workspace utilisation and space scheduling business, founded 10 years ago, has now expanded to nine offices around the world, including the US and Asia.

The widespread adoption of Condeco’s sophisticated software and digital signage for measuring, monitoring and validating the workspace has seen sales grow by more than 300 per cent from £3.4m in 2011 to £10.5m in 2015, establishing the company on the prestigious Sunday Times Tech Track 100, which records the UK’s top technology companies. Its fast-growing US operations also recorded growth of over 185 per cent.

Alongside financial support, Paul believes the next government must also do everything it can to empower businesses with access to the skilled workforce they need to fuel expansion.

Paul adds: “Immigration is an increasingly hot-button political issue, but a knee jerk reaction towards closed borders would be very harmful to our economy. The UK is a magnet for the world’s best professionals, and this influx of innovation and talent is a tremendous boon for businesses in all sectors. We have grown into a global operation, but the international team in our UK headquarters has always played an integral role in our identity and ability to innovate and grow.”

“However, we must not neglect our own home grown talent, and it should be a priority for the next government to enable our young people to fulfil their potential as our next generation of professionals and leaders.

Opportunities such as apprenticeships are enormously beneficial for young people and businesses alike, and should be a central policy in both keeping youth unemployment down and ensuring future economic growth.”

Official figures from the ONS revealed that GDP grew by 0.5 per cent in the final quarter of 2014, bringing the year’s total growth to 2.6 per cent, the highest since 2007 . Leading the charge is the technology sector, which according to new research from Barclays is on track to grow four times faster than the national GDP this year.

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