In­vest­ment is top pri­or­ity for North­ern Rivers busi­nesses

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS BUSINESS -

NORTH­ERN Rivers busi­ness are mak­ing big­ger in­vest­ment de­ci­sions de­spite the im­pacts of the drought.

A NSW Busi­ness Cham­ber sur­vey re­vealed Septem­ber’s tougher trad­ing con­di­tions are a flow on ef­fect from the 84 per cent of busi­nesses who re­ported be­ing im­pacted by the drought in Au­gust.

“We have had our eye on busi­ness con­fi­dence in the North­ern Rivers for some time given the hit taken post the weather event in March 2017 and more re­cent con­cerns that the drought im­pact would ex­tend to our re­gion’s busi­nesses,” NSW Busi­ness Cham­ber Re­gional Man­ager Jane Laverty said.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, more North­ern Rivers busi­nesses are ex­pand­ing and mak­ing in­vest­ment de­ci­sions than their metropoli­tan coun­ter­parts, with half of the busi­nesses in the North­ern Rivers in­di­cat­ing they had ini­ti­ated ma­jor cap­i­tal spend­ing in the Septem­ber quar­ter com­pared with 34.7 per cent for Syd­ney-based busi­nesses. The rea­sons for this in­vest­ment sited by busi­nesses in­clude re­place­ment of ag­ing as­sets (22.7 per cent), im­prov­ing their prod­uct range (15.9 per cent), in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity to meet de­mand (15.9 per cent) and to lower op­er­a­tional costs (15.9 per cent).

“It says a lot about the lead­er­ship and en­trepreneur­ship of our re­gional busi­nesses when they back their busi­ness for growth in chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times,” Ms Laverty said.

“I do believe this tenac­ity should be matched by sup­port from all lev­els of gov­ern­ment which we are see­ing through their in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in the re­gion and also by our com­mu­ni­ties with a com­mit­ment to buy­ing within the re­gion.”

The re­gion’s busi­nesses have high­lighted a range of pri­or­i­ties to fur­ther man­age their costs in­clud­ing the re­duc­tion of en­ergy (46.4 per cent) which is in line with the state av­er­age.

How­ever, in com­par­i­son to the pri­or­i­ties of other re­gions, North­ern Rivers busi­nesses are iden­ti­fy­ing freight and dis­tri­bu­tion costs as a pri­or­ity.

“We have the best trans­port op­er­a­tors in the North­ern Rivers who are ex­tremely cus­tomer cen­tric so we will be talk­ing with our in­dus­try col­leagues about what sup­port they need to man­age this very im­por­tant area of the sup­ply chain,” Ms Laverty said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IN­VEST­MENT: North­ern Rivers busi­nesses are iden­ti­fy­ing freight and dis­tri­bu­tion costs as a pri­or­ity.

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