Community News

Business performance better in 2015/16

Clarence Valley businesses that responded to a recent confidence survey are generally positive about the year ahead. Clarence Valley Council sent the survey to the email addresses of numerous Clarence businesses and the five chambers of commerce and received 37 responses. Mayor, Richie Williamson, said he would have liked more responses, but hoped the relatively small number meant businesses were either too busy to respond or they were comfortable with the way things were going. “You would expect to hear from more than that if things were going badly,” he said. “The view from those who did respond was they were pretty confident. “At the time of the survey, which was before the gaol announcement, Clarence businesses thought they were going to perform better in 2015/16 than in the previous year.” The business confidence survey is an initiative of the Clarence Business Advisory Committee. It provides a snapshot to measure ongoing business and industry confidence across the Clarence Valley. Highlights include: • 57% of respondents believed they would perform better in the 2015/16 financial year; • respondents viewed the outlook for the national economy as remaining the same or moderately stronger. However, they saw the Clarence outlook as being moderately or significantly stronger; • close to 40% of businesses reported a stronger return for the 2014/15 financial year and 35% remained the same; • limited impact on staffing numbers reported with 43% of businesses saying they would remain the same • more than half of businesses were intending to maintain their level of capital investment for the year; • economic climate, policy and taxes are the key issues impacting on Clarence business performance, and; • assistance is most needed in business new market options, marketing and e-business solutions. The results will be utilised to: • track business sentiment over time; • identify areas of assistance and need to support local business growth, and; • seek views on issues impacting business performance. The next survey will be distributed in February.