Businesses optimistic for future

CENTRAL Queensland's small to medium businesses and agribusinesses are more optimistic about their future than their counterparts across the rest of the State.

Suncorp Bank Queensland executive general manager David Marshall said a recent Suncorp survey showed CQ businesses were more confident and were looking at hiring more staff.

"2011 has been a watershed year but it's good news for Central Queensland that despite both economic and weather challenges many businesses appear to have turned a corner and are taking into account this new era of austerity when planning for the future," he said.

"The natural disasters have built resilience. Employers are generally more confident, that is shown in their likelihood to hire.

"Overall, they are more positive about 2012 and beyond than any other region."

Mr Marshall said this was based on the industrial growth and confidence in agriculture.

The Suncorp Doing Business in Queensland survey involved more than 500 small-to-medium business enterprises, including businesses in Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg.

"For the majority of regions, the Federal Government's plans to increase compulsory superannuation contributions from 9% to 12% was a significant concern for survey respondents with 71% in Central Queensland suggesting it would have a negative or very negative impact on their business," Mr Marshall said.

"Another major concern was cash-flow and when you take into account external factors such as the proposed mining and carbon taxes, the high Aussie dollar and declining tourism numbers, it is no wonder SMEs are feeling the cash-flow pinch."


CQ key findings:

  • 53% admitted doing business in 2011 was more challenging than 2008 (GFC) and 37% rated it as much more challenging.
  • 32% said last summer had a significant impact on their business.
  • 45% believed conditions for doing business in 2012 would be much the same as 2011, however a significant number were taking a positive outlook with plans for expansion over the coming year.
  • 52% said growing their business was their biggest priority for 2012.
  • 23% said they planned to increase staff numbers in the next 12 months.
  • 34% described the performance of their local economy as moderate and 55% said they expected it to improve in 2012.

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