The National Park Authority has a duty to help look after the financial and social well-being of the local communities within the National Park in support of its purposes. In 2008, the local economy of the National Park was estimated to be worth around £2.23 billion.
In the National park there are a wide range of business types. An estimated 8,500–11,500 businesses operate within the National Park, employing between 52,000–84,000 people.
The National Park has three primary market towns – Lewes, Petersfield and Midhurst; these are the main employment areas and provide very important services to the surrounding rural areas. The large urban areas around the boundary also play a major role.
Food and drink are growing industries within the National Park. In addition to the 16 vineyards there are also 12 breweries and one cider maker. A number of farm shops, farmers markets and community shops stock local produce. There are lots of pubs and restaurants providing a valuable service for visitors and residents, many of which support local producers by serving local produce.
The National Park also has mineral resources that are important to the economy. The minerals are used for a wide range of applications related to construction, manufacturing, agriculture and energy supply.