Wellington small businesses have done better than their peers throughout the rest of the country in the last year, according to the latest research from MYOB.
According to the MYOB Business Monitor, companies in the capital with fewer than five employees outperformed all the other main centres with 40 per cent reporting an increase in revenue during the year to May. Sole traders also did well, seeing about 19 per cent growth.
Local business owners take a gloomy look at the future however, with concern about the year ahead as business confidence and optimism fall amidst an uncertain global economy.
Only 15 per cent of Wellington based companies expected an economic recovery in the year ahead, compared to 18 per cent nationwide.
Tourism and hospitality were strong, with 21 per cent of food and accommodation providers reporting an increase in revenue. Those businesses believe the good times will continue as 38 per cent forecast growth in the next 12 months.
Some property management businesses appeared to be booming. Around 15 per cent said earnings would rise in the next year.
With weak levels of new building activity however, the construction and trade sector's revenue was down by almost a quarter in the year to May.
Wellington companies were having trouble attracting new customers as government spending was pulled in, so 34 per cent of local businesses plan to invest in retaining current customers.
According to MYOB's New Zealand general manager, Julian Smith, tough times have begun to feel like normal times for Kiwi companies.
“We've been having challenging trading conditions for well before the global financial crisis so tough times have become the new normal,” Smith said.
“Wellington has the lowest hiring intentions in the business sector, just a little under the national average with only 8 per cent intending to hire new staff compared with 14 per cent in Christchurch and 10 per cent in Auckland.
Nationally 20 per cent of companies plan to give staff pay rises this year compared with only 12 per cent of Wellington companies, but the capital remains the highest salary payer on average.
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