SMEs still backbone of NZ business

Last updated 11:58 25/06/2014

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One in three New Zealand workers is employed in a small business, and combined they contribute a third of New Zealand's gross domestic product.

The finding comes from the country's first Small Business Sector Report, provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The report outlines the statistics on New Zealand's 460,000 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and the more than 900,000 workers that the business with 20 staff or less employ.

SMEs make up about 97 per cent of businesses in New Zealand, and almost 70 per cent of them are single-worker businesses.

They are represented in every industry in the country, the report says.

Compared to larger businesses, SMEs spent more time and resources on workplace safety, but less time and resources on regulations.

They have good access to financing, with 86 per cent of those who requested debt financing reporting that it was approved, and 76 per cent for those who requested equity finance.

New Zealand SMEs saw more "births than deaths over the past decade" according to the report.

However, enterprises with fewer than 20 employees have lower "survival rates" than larger firms.

Roughly a quarter of them "died" within three years from 2010.

Almost a third of small business aged between 1 and 5 years were hiring in 2013, back to a quarter when SMEs are 6 to 20 years old.

Only 16 per cent of small businesses 21 years or older were hiring in 2013.

The average salary for those in businesses with one to 19 employees is $42,153 a year.

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- Waikato Times

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