Survey - Waitakere businesses remain optimistic
14 August 2003
Survey shows Waitakere businesses remain optimistic
The Waitakere business community is generally optimistic, with almost all expecting local investment to increase or remain at current levels, according to the Council’s latest Business Connection survey.
Eighty-two percent of businesses also claim they are supportive of Waitakere’s Eco City goals.
Businesses have stated positive investment and employment intentions since the first Business Connection survey was undertaken in 1997 – and the trend looks set to continue. In 2003, 57% of businesses expect investment to be maintained and 37% expect it to increase. Similarly, almost all expect employment to be maintained or increase. More than 55% expect profitability to increase.
Eighty-six percent of businesses regard their present location as good or very good and two-thirds would prefer to stay there. Some 88% rate their premises as very good or good and 80% are satisfied with their land price or rent. Henderson Town Centre businesses rated Waitakere City most positively as a place to have business (71% very good/good)
The ease of contacting the Council by phone, email, in person, or via the website, is also seen as very good or good by the majority of businesses. An increasing number of businesses are also hearing about and using Enterprise Waitakere – the Council’s business development arm. Seventy percent said they had heard of Enterprise Waitakere, and of those who had used its services, almost three-quarters rated its usefulness as very good or good.
The majority of businesses (61%) have three quarters or more of their workers living in Waitakere City, similar to 2000 (58%). Businesses less likely to have Waitakere City residents working in them are medium to large businesses (with 10 to 24 full time equivalents) and those located in New Lynn, Glendene/Kelston and Lincoln/Central Park Dr. These areas have a high number of businesses and generally have good access to main roads that join to other cities in the Auckland region.
Around 160 businesses made comments on what the Council could do to support business and promote local economic development. The most frequently mentioned were to reduce rates and improve the appearance and cleanliness of business areas, especially in town centres.
“The survey results have provided the Council with some excellent feedback about business habits and expectations in this City,” says Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone, chair of the Council’s City Development Committee.
“It helps us to help business in a number of areas and is particularly useful for both elected members and staff in setting priorities and improving services to meet the needs of local businesses.”
The survey results are also being used in the formulation of an Economic Development Strategy, which seeks to maximise the benefits of existing structures, such as Enterprise Waitakere, and to build on the well-developed community and central government partnerships that already exist. It proposes objectives and actions that address issues raised by businesses in the survey.
Survey results are available on the Council’s website www.waitakere.govt.nz