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SMEs in the regions will welcome investment - survey

22 July 2014

Growth uneven across NZ

As political parties release their regional strategies in the lead up to this year’s general election, regional businesses will be welcoming the increased attention on spreading growth across New Zealand.

According to the latest nationwide MYOB Business Monitor survey of over 1,000 business owners and operators, almost half of whom are located in provincial towns and cities, some regions are currently performing well, while others clearly need a boost.

In the year to February 2014, Hawkes Bay was the country’s best performing region with 52% of operators reporting growth, followed by Canterbury (47%) and Waikato (42%). In contrast, businesses in the Bay of Plenty reported revenue falls (35%) outstripping gains (21%), while just 27% of businesses in Northland saw their revenue increase.

Hawkes Bay continues to enjoy a good year, with 59% of business operators expecting revenue to increase in the 12 months to February 2015. Canterbury (57%) and Waikato (48%) are also expecting to do well this year. The Bay of Plenty is expecting some improvement, with 38% forecasting revenue growth, but still tempered by falling revenue for 23% of local businesses. Northland businesses are expecting the lowest growth levels this year, with just 27% of businesses expecting revenue to improve.

RegionYear to Feb 14 - revenue upYear to Feb 14 -revenue downYear to Feb 15 -revenue rise forecastYear to Feb 15 -revenue fall forecast
Bay of Plenty21%35%38%23%
Hawkes Bay52%8%59%5%

MYOB New Zealand Business Division Sales Manager Scott Gardiner says businesses in the regions will welcome increased government spending to ensure they see the benefits of economic growth.

“The economy is doing well at the moment, and many of the regions – especially those that have seen the benefits of a buoyant agri-business sector – are doing well,” says Scott Gardiner.

“However, there are several key areas in the country where SMEs are continuing to struggle. Any investment in this area will make an enormous difference.”

“SMEs are vital to our communities – they provide services, create employment and support social development. We hope to see plenty of focus from the major parties on enhancing regional prosperity through supporting local business.”

According to the Monitor, the most popular policy any party could focus on is reducing the cost of unlimited broadband, which 76% of regional business operators would support. 62% of regional business operators also believe Ultra Fast Broadband would make a positive difference to their business.

“One of the key ways we believe it would be possible to spread the benefits of growth across the regions is by increased investment in access to the digital economy,” says Mr Gardiner.

“Over half of all regional businesses don’t currently have any online presence. Alongside spending on roading infrastructure and regional investment, it would also be great to see an increased focus on ensuring regional businesses can enjoy the benefits of the online economy.”

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB website, or its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites.


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