Few would argue it’s not been a tough year for retail. Yet with the election firmly behind us, and on the cusp of the Christmas spending period, things are looking up.
Tim Wingrove from Shop A Docket said the national survey revealed a positive outlook from small businesses, particularly those in the food and beverage, entertainment, healthcare, real estate and retail sectors.
When asked to rate their business confidence leading into Christmas 2013:
- 38.55% answered they were more confident than 12 months ago;
- 38.04% were unchanged; and
- 17.18% were less confident.
- Overall, 43.56% were more positive about the next 12 months ahead than they had been in the past.
“Of significant interest was the positive sentiment expressed by business owners in non-metropolitan areas such as regional and rural towns,” Mr Wingrove said.
Participants were also asked to rank government practices based on their importance to small businesses.
Business owners consistently identified education and training of staff to be the critical issue.
Of ‘critical importance’, the introduction of the NBN was notably rated a distant last – just 8.75% rated it as ‘vital’.
In relation to running a business, owners and managers nominated ‘overheads’ as having the greatest impact on their business, with development of a significant customer base next on the list.
Competition from imports was considered the lowest worry – just 5.45% reported this had a negative impact on their business.