How Do Aussie SMBs Feel about the Current Economic Landscape?

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 26 Aug 2019

Despite many retailers feeling the pinch of dropping sales, new research from Sensis shows that SMB businesses are still confident about retail. 

The August 2019 Sensis Business Index revealed that Aussie SMB businesses are experiencing ‘a post-election bounce,’ with 57 per cent of businesses now feeling positive about their prospects for the next 12 months.

The state with the highest level of positivity is Tasmania, with 63 per cent of retailers expressing confidence. It’s followed by Queensland, who sits at 60 per cent of confidence, and Victoria at 58 per cent.

“It’s great to see more than half of small and medium businesses across the nation feeling upbeat about their business outlook post-election, despite their concerns about the current state of the economy,” explained Sensis’ CEO, John Allan.

So, what do retailers think will happen in the next 12 months?

Despite the positive attitude held by the majority of retailers regarding the economy, one-in-three business owners believe that the economy is slowing down. Moreover, one-in-two believe that it’s at a complete standstill. According to the research, 22 per cent of SME businesses believe that the economy will recover in the next 2 months, while 30 per cent believe that ‘the situation will get worse’.

Those in retail within the metro areas of the country generally feel more confident regarding the recent retail economy (58 per cent), compared the regional counterparts (52 per cent).

According to Sensis, half of metro SMB owners and managers (52 per cent) expect ‘significant or moderate expansion in the coming 12 months’, which is seven per cent higher than the regional average.

One in three Aussie small businesses (36 per cent) said that ‘the current Federal Government policies fro small businesses are having no impact’. “Over the years, we have seen a growing perception among SMBs that Federal Government policies do not affect them and our latest index further cements this,” said Mr Allan.

In the report, it’s noted that ‘across the country, 37 per cent of businesses believe excessive ‘red tape’ is holding back their growth’. The state with the highest is in Victoria, with 41 per cent of businesses quoting red tape as an issue. In NSW, 35 per cent of businesses views insurance as the second-highest hindrance after red tape (36 per cent), while 37 per cent of South Australian and Tasmanian businesses believe insurance is putting the brakes on their growth.

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