Business confidence in the region has “taken a hit”, due to the combined impact of bushfires, drought and weak household demand, says NSW Business Chamber, Central Coast.
Regional Director, Paula Martin, said confidence was down right across the State, with growing revenue now the number one business priority for business on the Coast.
“Our December Business Conditions Survey underscores the impact of broader economic challenges such as drought and weak consumer spending which were hurting businesses even before the bushfires,” Martin said.
“This triple-threat of the bushfire disaster, drought and weak household demand is hurting business.
“Across the Central Coast, the cost of red tape and rising business costs, mostly energy and insurance costs, are placing heavy burdens on their operations, and this comes on top of existing skills shortages already hampering growth prospects.
“We’re concerned about the number of businesses reporting that they were shedding staff.
“Last quarter saw nearly 10,000 less employed people on the Central Coast, which is 3 times worse than Newcastle and 10 times worse than Sydney.
“The results are particularly disappointing because the latter part of the year normally offers a welcome boost to business trade.
“Lacklustre revenues are reflective of weak household spending, with recent data indicating a large proportion of the most recent personal income tax cuts are not being spent and we are yet to see the full impact of the bushfires.
“The best way to support local business is to buy local.
“We need to get behind our local businesses because our communities depend on them for employment and economic opportunity.
“The Chamber has welcomed the support offered to businesses affected by the bushfires and the drought, and we look forward to further initiatives to help economic recovery and business confidence in affected regions.”
Media release, Jan 31
NSW Business Chamber, Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin