Super City SME revenue continues to increase
Dissatisfaction with local council support amongst Auckland-based small and medium business operators is at its highest level in over two years. This is despite increased levels of revenue growth for SMEs in the Super City, according to theMYOB Business Monitor.
The MYOB Business Monitor, which surveyed over 300 SME operators based in Auckland, found that 40 per cent were dissatisfied with Auckland Council’s support for small businesses, and only 10 per cent expressed satisfaction.
Auckland SMEs’ dissatisfaction was in stark contrast to New Zealand’s two other major cities, where only 26 per cent of Christchurch SME operators and 24 per cent of Wellington operators were dissatisfied (16 per cent and 9 per cent satisfied respectively). It was also the strongest measurement of dissatisfaction that Auckland has reported since the MYOB Business Monitor began asking the question in August 2013.
MYOB New Zealand General Manager James Scollay says that as Auckland is the largest city, it was disappointing to see an increasing number of SMEs are not feeling supported by their local council.
“Councils rely on their local business sector to generate jobs, invest in the local economy and support industries, such as tourism, that benefit the whole community.
“When asked about their top pressures, Auckland SME operators noted attracting new customers, competitive activity, and retaining existing customers as the most significant.
“While is clear that reducing red tape around issues such as resource consents and local regulations that govern how businesses operate can benefit SMEs, the council could challenge themselves to go further to assist small businesses to succeed in what is a highly competitive market.
“With local body elections being held next year, the Auckland business community will be more likely to support those candidates who endorse policies that encourage business growth,” says Mr Scollay.
Revenues rise in the Super City
On a more positive note, Auckland SME business operators reported an even greater level of revenue growth over the last 12 months in the latest MYOB Business Monitor. 37 per cent of Super City business operators stated that in the year to August 2015 they had seen their revenue rise, only 18 per cent saw a decline, with the remaining operators reporting static revenue (44 per cent) or stating they didn’t know (one per cent).
“This percentage gap between business reporting a rise in revenue and those reporting a decline is a key indicator of the health of the SME community,” says Mr Scollay.
“At 19 points, this is the greatest delta we have seen since the Business Monitor began in 2009 and a vast improvement on Wellington and Christchurch levels.”
Businesses in the capital city reported a 26 per cent revenue rise with a 27 per cent decline. The slowdown in the Christchurch rebuild showed its effects with 30 per cent reporting a rise in revenue and 29 per cent reporting a decline, compared to 51 per cent and 11 per cent the same time last year.
Housing still a hot topic in Auckland
When compared with SMEs in other cities, Auckland SME operators were the most likely to be supportive of a policy to open up more crown land for development of housing. Over half (51 per cent) of local businesses would vote for a party that proposed this initiative, only 20 per cent would vote against the policy, and the remaining 28 per cent said it would not affect their vote.
In Wellington, 44 per cent of SME operators were supportive of the policy, 19 per cent were against, and in Christchurch 36 per cent were for, 21 per cent against.
“With over a third of New Zealand business being based within Auckland, it is heartening to see the strong revenue growth in the city. It is hoped that the rest of New Zealand will start to see this business boom filtering through as increasing Auckland house prices drive further growth in the regions,” says Mr Scollay.
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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 in July/August 2015. 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.