CEO encourages locals to support small businesses amid improved outlook
The Business NSW Business Conditions Survey for Q3 has found businesses are more optimistic about the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the last.
Daniel Hunter (pictured), CEO of Business NSW, said business conditions are looking positive, with owners in 17 of 19 industries feeling less concerned as they expect to see improvements in the next quarter. However, he noted consumers’ reluctance to spend remains a key risk to that outlook.
“While worries about interest rates are subsiding, consumers’ reluctance to spend remains a key risk to the business outlook,” said Hunter. “It’s never been a better time to support small businesses, go out there and shop in your local community. Businesses are still recovering from the skills shortage nightmare during the pandemic.”
The Business Confidence Index moved up to -68.2 in the third quarter of 2023. The slight improvement comes after the Federal Government revealed details of a new round of industrial relations changes.
“A multi-speed business environment has emerged, with some enterprises expecting to shut down and some anticipating major success in the financial year 2023-24,” said Hunter. “Conditions are still tough, but the most common response from businesses is that they will have just enough to survive.”
For the survey, more than 1,000 businesses in NSW were approached for insights. Key findings included the following:
- 85% of respondents believe they would be able to raise emergency finance for their business
- 62% intend to maintain the same headcount for the next three months, while 23% expect to cut staff and 15% expect to hire additional staff
- 36% have experienced cyber incidents in the past 12 months; this includes unsuccessful hacking attempts
- 50% of respondents have experienced an online scam in the past 12 months; this includes unsuccessful scam attempts
- 93% of respondents experienced barriers in accessing NSW government services, assistance, or grants, with the majority reporting lack of awareness of what is available