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Business Eye: A billion reasons to tap into the mega-rich

Alex Pratt

Alex Pratt

  • by Alex Pratt, chairman of Bucks Business First
 

A wise female Prime Minister once reminded me that the rest of the world is really all of the world, and that every place on the planet is small by comparison to the opportunities that exist beyond its immediate horizons.

Buckinghamshire may well therefore pay the highest taxes per resident of anywhere in England, start more businesses than most places in the world, and be rightly proud of our schools, skills and surroundings, but we still have a lot to learn and gain from those who know us less intimately, if at all.

On our doorstep, we have the first genuine World City, which brings to us a number of potential advantages.

To start with it is home to the tip of the global wealth iceberg with its newfound status as the Billionaire capital of the world, housing more than 100 of these special individuals.

A billionaire is a big beast. To put it into perspective, a million seconds is about 12 days, but a billion seconds is 32 years.

The entire Bucks economy of over 500,000 of us account for a £12 Billion a year GDP.

What billionaires tend to bring is fluid investment funds; after all you need a pretty deep pockets or a very high bed to stuff 32 years-worth of notes away. They also bring powerful networks, contacts, businesses and represent a serious opportunity to be tapped.

Of course, there are plenty of others who would get their attention first, but that does not mean we shouldn’t put our case.

We have a lot to offer.

Chips from this local opportunity iceberg do float down the Thames on occasion by accident, but we tend to look this huge local gift horse in the mouth, let alone the global audience from whom we could gain.

The audiences “out there” can be broken down into possible tourist visitors who would not otherwise visit Wendover Woods, Waddesdon Manor or Stowe, and potential inward investing companies like Arla that bring with them jobs, cashflow and vibrancy to the local economy.

It must be an oversight that we don’t employ a dedicated destination management team.

For the most filmed part of England, the Birthplace of the Paralympics, the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain and home to the British Grand Prix, we are missing a big trick, which is why the business community has approached our Local Authorities to help us bring the Bucks light out from under its unnecessary bushel.

 

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