Investment is top priority for Northern Rivers businesses
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.
INVESTMENT: Northern Rivers businesses are identifying freight and distribution costs as a priority.