Business confidence on the Mid-North Coast is above average, a business conditions survey shows.
The NSW Business Chamber released the results of its latest Business Conditions Survey which gauges current and expected business performance across a range of indicators.
Businesses were also asked to rate the NSW economy’s performance.
Business confidence in the region improved and was above average and unemployment remains relatively low.
The picture was not as rosy in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region with business confidence below average.
The drought is taking its toll on the state’s businesses.
Results show September’s tougher trading conditions are a flow-on effect from the 84 per cent of businesses across the state who reported being impacted by the drought in August.
Compounding the state’s sluggish quarter are higher operating costs and a downward trend in revenue.
NSW Business Chamber regional manager Kellon Beard said: “While NSW remains number one, with 151,000 new jobs created within the past year and the lowest unemployment rate in Australia, we are seeing the impacts of the drought-hit business, particularly in the regions.
“Lower levels of capital spending this quarter show businesses are tightening their belts and delaying major spending decisions.
“Higher operating costs have continued to plague business at a time where four in five businesses are seeing cash flow dry up, and they are having to spend what cash they do have on overpriced operating bills like energy.
“We need to see a stronger commitment for affordable energy, drought-focused support services that assist businesses - like ATO payment plans to assist tax obligations in drought stricken areas - and a renewed focus on delivering skills training for our young people.”
He said from a state government standpoint, focus needs to remain on delivering the infrastructure spending, especially in rural and regional NSW, to make sure our economy goes from strength to strength.
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