After years of low economic activity in the Broome region, and many businesses experiencing challenging economic conditions, where operating margins have been eroded and growth constrained. New research from the BCCI as part of our Broome Business Confidence Survey in October 2018, has identified that despite the considerable pressure local businesses have been under to maintain viable operations, there is renewed optimism for 2019 and the future.
Over 50% of the businesses surveyed experienced a stronger business performance as compared to the previous 12 months of operation, and the proportion of these are anticipating a better economic condition for the next 12 months.
Local businesses did see a significant rise in costs to conduct their business, with Rents, Utilities, Rates, Freight contractors rising between 1-10% over the past two years, and Insurance rising more than 20%.
Fifty per cent of businesses surveyed expect an increase in sales and profits over the next 12 months, and a nearly 70% of businesses expect to increase their labour force and associated wages. Over one third of all respondents did see availability of skilled labour as a major barrier to growing their business, followed by weak demand for products and services (26%), rising operating costs(19%), competitors – foreign and online (17%) and only 10% saw no barriers at all. .
From the comments received, there was caution but visible confidence in the future of our local economy.
“We see our business as stable but still need to be vigilant about protecting ourselves from other economic threats that are beyond our control. We do see substantial growth in the region for the next five years.”
“We have increased turn over every year since 1994 until 2015 where it flat-lined until now, so i believe business is on its way up and the future is good for trade in Broome for the businesses that supply a quality product and service.
“Very positive with the economic opportunities that are proposed for Broome and the Kimberley over the next five years”
BCCI recognises the significant contribution that local businesses plays to the economy and the community. This Christmas we are supporting and promoting the #mysmallpledge initiative to encourage the community to make the pledge and buy their Christmas gifts from local small business in the region. Retail is an important contributor to the sustainability of Broome, and we as a community need to show our support and refrain from buying online this Christmas. The unique and diverse gifts you can purchase from local small businesses are expansive and only something that is uniquely Broome.
Show your support – SHOP LOCAL TO SUPPORT LOCAL!! We look forward to a prosperous 2019!