Australian small business owners are the least likely to expect business growth in the next 12 months with only 57 percent indicating a positive outlook, a CPA Australia survey showed.
Results from the 2011 CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey revealed local business confidence to be at the same level as during the global financial crisis, lagging behind that of regional counterparts.
The survey of 1,500 small business owners in six Asia-Pacific economies shows 41 percent of local businesses borrowed for survival in the past year and three percent expect to go out of business in the next 12 months.
CPA Australia CEO Alex Malley said the survey paints a bleak picture of local small business attitudes. “Global economic volatility has no doubt played a part; however the survey has revealed that it’s primarily increasing expenses, higher borrowing costs and tighter lending conditions that are causing small business operators to feel less than bullish.”
Around 18 percent of local businesses indicated no intention of undertaking key business management activities in the next year, the highest percentage of all markets surveyed.
“Small businesses in Australia need to reassess their business management processes to ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible during these tough market conditions. This will also help put them in the best position possible to benefit from any upswing,” Malley advised.
The main concerns for business were slower growth rates, increased operating costs and access to finance.