The number of VAT/PAYE registered businesses in Bucks increased during the pandemic, but the number of unregistered businesses fell. 

In contrast to predictions, the number of registered businesses in Buckinghamshire, and in the country as a whole, increased slightly between March 2020 and March 2021. Nationally, the growth in the VAT/PAYE business population contrasts sharply with a fall of 5.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) over the same period, decoupling business growth and economic growth after many years in which they tracked each other quite closely. This divergence is likely due to business support schemes preventing business ‘deaths'.

However, using regional data, we estimate that the number of unregistered businesses in Buckinghamshire fell by around 4,000 between 2020 and 2021. Some of this reduction was likely due to the newly self-employed not being eligible for early Covid-19 government support.