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News - 20 June 2009

What's bothering Sussex Businesses?

Sussex Enterprise has recently conducted an extensive survey of local businesses to find out what the key issues of the day are. It appears that transport infrastructure is top of the list along with skills shortages and a lack of suitable premises.

The real cost of transport inadequacies to Sussex businesses is estimated at £29,000 per business over the last 12 months. In the last year half of businesses suffered from the impact of traffic congestion and as a result 11% of them are thinking of upping sticks and going elsewhere.

A third of businesses say that skills shortages have constrained growth over the last 12 months. The areas highlighted are management and IT skills.

Businesses would like to see more vocational training in schools and further education establishments. They would also like to see an improvement in the standards of discipline and work ethic with a positive attitude being encouraged.

The lack of suitable premises is also a major bugbear for businesses. Nearly a quarter say it has been a key factor in holding back development. This has forced up rents and 25% of businesses think that they are paying too much for their premises.

Businesses have also expressed their disapproval of Government's proposed new Business Rate Supplement (see earlier story). Half have said that they would be opposed to this new tax preferring a Business Improvement District scheme that at least gives them some control over how their money is spent.

The recent announcement that they will have no say whatsoever in the new BRS scheme will only had more fury to their opposition.

For more information on the survey contact Sussex Enterprise or click here for a copy of the report.


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