The NSW Business Chamber’s December Business Conditions Survey confirms business confidence has taken a hit due to the combined impact of bushfires, drought and weak household demand.
“Business confidence is down right across the State,” said Western NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager Vicki Seccombe. “Our survey underscores the impact of broader economic challenges such as drought and weak consumer spending which were hurting businesses even before the bushfires.”
Vicki Seccombe went on to say that “the Far West and Orana results are very much in negative territory and the Central West is slightly better but still in the same negative territory.” She continued, “the results are particularly disappointing because the latter part of the year normally offers a welcome boost to business trade.”
The data shows that a large proportion of the most recent personal income tax cuts are not being spent. Dismal revenues are indicative of weak household spending and while the bulk of the labour market is yet to suffer to effects of the decrease in revenue, there are still a number of businesses reporting that they have had to shed staff, a number that is set to increase.
It is imperative that Forbes residents continue to support local businesses as they provide both economic growth and employment. Forbes itself has been a great example of resilience and generosity in supporting local businesses, and vice versa, with many businesses also giving back to the community.
With many grassroots initiatives being started in recent times like Buyfromthebush, Stayinthebush and #stuffthedrought movements, which encourage Australians everywhere to visit and spend in rural communities, it is comforting to know that we are not forgotten. Vicki Seccome stated that “we look forward to further initiatives to help economic recovery and business confidence in affected regions.”