Hatties IGA owner Jill Grant says business in many areas is still booming in Mackay with shoppers buying more exotic types of food.
Hatties IGA owner Jill Grant says business in many areas is still booming in Mackay with shoppers buying more exotic types of food. Lee Constable

Business confidence up

CONFIDENCE levels amongst business owners in the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region are soaring and most of them are looking forward to a bright future.

More than 80% of businesses said they were expecting either an increase in profits next year or that things would remain strong.

This opinion was shared by Hattie's IGA owner Jill Grant.

"Given the current economy... and with several new grocery stores opening their doors this year, Hattie's IGA has certainly held its own and is doing quite well," Ms Grant said.

The Regional Economic Development Corporation's (REDC) annual Business Confidence Survey for the region has confirmed confidence remains high and the future is looking even better for business and industry in 2012.

REDC chief executive officer Narelle Pearse said close to 200 participants, from a variety of different industries, had taken part in the survey, which aimed to find out how businesses were coping in the current economic conditions.

Ms Pearse said the survey showed overall business confidence was strong within the region with more than 70% of businesses experiencing either an increase in performance or no change over the past six months.

"This again highlights the major growth the region is undergoing and the positive impact it is having on local business and industry into the future," Ms Pearse said.

"The survey also showed positive growth in employment opportunities with 40.3% of businesses indicating an increase in staffing levels over the next six months."

The survey also asked businesses what they felt were there biggest concerns in the region.

The main concern listed across all businesses was workforce availability.

"Overall, I believe the survey shows that there is a great deal of opportunity for the region," Ms Pearse said.

"However, we must continue to work to address issues that could affect the growth such as workforce, skills and accommodation, as well as continuing to help build those industries which are struggling," she said.

WHAT THESURVEY FOUND

  •   83% of businesses were expecting an increase or consistency next year
  •  73% of businesses were currently experiencing an increase or no change
  •  40.3% indicated staffing would increase


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