SME dissatisfaction outweighs satisfaction with Government support

02 Apr 2013

MYOB calls for additional initiatives to follow the starting-out wage

New research by MYOB reveals the level of dissatisfaction with government support felt by New Zealand’s small and medium business (SME) community is relatively unchanged from mid last year. This is despite their improving revenues and increasing optimism about the local economy.

In response, MYOB is calling for a renewed government assistance for the sector.

The March 2013 MYOB Business Monitor, a national survey of 1,000+ SMEs run by Colmar Brunton, found 29% are dissatisfied with government support while only 22% are satisfied. 46% are neither one nor the other and 3% are unsure how they feel. Dissatisfaction has fallen only one percentage point since the June 2012 Monitor. Satisfaction has also fallen, by four points.

MYOB New Zealand General Manager, Business Division, James Scollay says, “Small and medium businesses are the engine room of this country’s economy. Through our latest research they’ve voiced a strong need for the government to provide them with much more support.”

“The SME community deserves all the help it can get. They contribute almost one third of all local employment and in doing so help put food on the table of well over one million New Zealanders.”

“Despite this, too often these business operators are undervalued and under recognised. This needs to change. While they are increasingly optimistic about the economy’s future and revenue expectations, they want to see policies that help them make the most of the recovery. Initiatives that help them become more productive and better equipped to compete with their rivals.”

“Along with New Zealand’s SMEs, MYOB wants the government to take a more active role in making it easier to comply with regulations, up-skill for the future and hire the right staff. The Minimum Wage Amendment Bill, and the accompanying starting-out wage, is a solid step in the right direction for the government. Business owners are likely saying ‘fantastic – more please’.”

City sentiment sees Christchurch leading

Of the three main cities, those in Christchurch were most satisfied (29%). This sentiment has remained relatively steady in the past nine months, having fallen only two percentage points since the last Monitor. Dissatisfaction has risen one percentage point to 23%.

Wellington tells a very different story - an increase in indifference. 34% of its businesses stated dissatisfaction in the latest research and only 20% satisfaction, compared to 42% and 24% in June.

“The Government appears to be maintaining support in Christchurch, where the effects of the rebuild are now flowing through to the local economy,” says Mr Scollay.

“Conversely, unlike in Christchurch, the Government has tightened spending in the capital. This is likely impacting local political sentiment. Wellington businesses were the least optimistic about their revenue in the year ahead, which would also feed into declining satisfaction.”

In Auckland, dissatisfaction and satisfaction were similar, at 26% and 24% respectively. This compared to 26% and 27% mid last year.

South Island SMEs more satisfied than most

Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay were the only regions where satisfaction with the current level of Government support outweighed dissatisfaction. Hawkes Bay led, with 37% satisfied, followed by Canterbury, with 29%.

SMEs in Bay of Plenty and Northland, which had another year of sluggish recovery in 2012, reported the highest levels dissatisfaction of all regions. The Manawatu-Wanganui region saw the highest proportion of respondents who were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied (56%).

TOP 3 REGIONS BY HIGHEST DISSATISFACTION TOTAL DISSATISFACTION TOTAL SATISFACTION
Bay of Plenty 44% 11%
Northland 39% 13%
Wellington 34% 20%
TOP 3 REGIONS BY HIGHEST SATISFACTION TOTAL SATISFACTION TOTAL DISSATISFACTION
Hawkes Bay 37% 29%
Christchurch 29% 23%
Marlborough 29% 24%
Dissatisfaction across the sectors

Dissatisfaction with Government support outweighed satisfaction across every major industry sector. Construction and trade, and transport, postal and warehousing, were particularly unhappy..

SECTOR BY HIGHEST DISSATISFACTION TOTAL DISSATISFACTION TOTAL SATISFACTION
Construction & trades 37% 16%
Retail & hospitality 33% 20%
Transport, postal & warehousing 32% 13%
Finance & insurance 31% 22%
Primary 30% 24%
Manufacturing & wholesale 27% 27%
Business, professional & property 25% 24%

“Operators such as those in a trade and in transport have done it hard throughout the recovery. Our research shows they’re really feeling the need for greater support from the Government,” says Mr Scollay.

“Even in areas seeing a healthier return to growth, like finance and insurance, a higher proportion of businesses are dissatisfied than not. This suggests there is much more to be done to convince business owners and managers that today’s policies are creating an environment in which they can thrive.” .

-ENDS-

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Gerard Blank

The Agency Communications Limited

Tel: 03 341 5841

Mob: 0275 243 629

Email: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

Kristy Sheppard

MYOB

Tel: 09 925 3560

Mob: 61 407 450 860

Email: kristy.sheppard@myob.com

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran late January/early February 2013. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than NZ$35 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For further information visit: myob.co.nz/smarterconnections.