In May 2023, key issues raised by Buckinghamshire businesses included:
Exporting: Local businesses are increasingly seeking help and support regarding exporting, particularly in terms of navigating the different requirements of different countries. The increased need for support could be related to increased exporting opportunities.
Costs: Sustained higher costs (in particular energy and salaries) are reported to be having a detrimental effect on year-end profits and margins.
Sales: Some businesses are reporting a decrease in the number of sales transactions, and having to work harder to win business. Some report that sales are taking longer to convert, which is leading to the tightening of budgets and the need to prioritise spend on overheads.
The above issues were highlighted to BBF by local businesses. BBF use this 'on-the-ground' intelligence to inform local business support activity, and share it with central government on a monthly basis to inform national strategy.