Confidence among Illawarra business owners remains strong according to the latest quarterly 'NSW Business Chamber Business Conditions Survey'.
The survey asks participants to assess current and expected performance across a range of indicators including profits, sales, capital spending and employment levels.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont said, a third of Illawarra businesses who responded to the survey reported increased profit for the September quarter with over 37% of businesses also indicating an increase in total sales revenue.
Over 40% of Illawarra businesses initiated major capital spending in the last quarter. The same percentage of respondents also indicating they had hired more staff during the quarter.
“Record low interest rates combined with a growing realisation of the lifestyle and competitive advantages of the region are helping to sustain business confidence,” said Chris Lamont.
The survey highlights a continuing concern with skill shortages with 24% of respondents indicating that they do not have access to suitability skilled staff.
The Illawarra Business Chamber believes the priority for all levels of government should be on addressing the key challenges of improving workforce skills outcomes, reducing and removing regulatory barriers costs and complexity where possible, and making regular obligations on business easier to understand and implement.
“Skill shortages remain a real concern and a critical issue for the region to realise its full potential. Demand for construction as shown by building approval data (up by 15% on the last 12 months) together with growth in the IT and knowledge services sector remains strong. We need to ensure we have a suitability qualified local skill base to meet existing and future demands,” said Chris Lamont.
A summary of the Illawarra survey responses are outlined in the table below with full state-wide and industry specific results at: http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/Issues/Business-Surveys/Business-Conditions