Milton Keynes ‘most expensive place to do business’

South East tops list of most costly areas

Milton Keynes has topped a list of the most expensive places to run a small business outside London.

According to a report by Alliance & Leicester, Milton Keynes is the most expensive place to rent cost of retail space, with business owners paying an average annual cost of £2,500 per square metre.

The town also came eighth for average weekly pay, with employees earning around £517 a week, compared to the national average of £457.

Following Milton Keynes on the list were Cambridge and Oxford, which scored highly for both office and industrial rental space, and are also hit by the high cost of living and housing in the area.

The survey also found that more than a third of small businesses believe labour costs are their biggest financial concern, with a quarter naming business rates, and almost a fifth citing rental costs as having the biggest impact.

Steve Jennings, director of business banking at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, said it is important for small business owners to understand the costs involved.

“Our research shows, despite its property prices and salaries being among the highest in the UK, the South East isn’t always the most expensive place to run a business.”   “Businesses facing high costs due to the area they’re in can save money in other ways. Reviewing outgoings is just one area where businesses can save considerable amounts of money,” he said. 

“Look at regular costs such as utilities and bank charges and ensure you shop around for the most competitive deals. By researching the deals available and switching to a more competitive offer, businesses can save thousands of pounds each year.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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