In December 2023, key issues raised by Buckinghamshire businesses included:

  • Planning: Obtaining planning consent in a realistic timeframe is still regarded as one of the most significant barriers for business growth and productivity.
  • Exporting: Several direct-to-consumer businesses are still experiencing significant challenges in exporting their products to European countries, and two local businesses (retail and manufacturing) have ceased to export citing too many challenges and costs.
  • Hospitality and leisure: Feedback from this sector confirms that business rates, high usage energy costs and the imminent rise of National Minimum Wage are causing major difficulties, with some operators struggling to survive

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.

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