NZ SMEs more confident, outperforming Australians: MYOB

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says Australia has a lot to learn from the way Kiwis support their small businesses.
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MYOB chief executive Tim Reed says Australia has a lot to learn from the way Kiwis support their small businesses.

New Zealand small businesses are continuing to outperform their Australian counterparts.

MYOB's latest Business Monitor surveyed more than 1000 small business (SME) in both Australia and New Zealand and found more than 40 per cent of Australian SMEs predicted a decline in the local economy in the next year.

New Zealand SMEs' confidence in the New Zealand economy soared from a negative 30 per cent in September 2015 to positive 5 per cent.

The lack of confidence in Australia was underpinned by falling revenue, with 31 per cent of Australian respondents reporting their revenue declined in the past year.

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Only 25 per cent of Australia SMEs saw revenue growth, compared to 37 per cent of New Zealand SMEs.

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said the past year has been challenging for Australian SMEs.

"Businesses there have shown incredible resilience, but they'll be looking forward to some relief from current conditions.

"Therefore it's great news that the Australian company tax rate will be reduced for small businesses because that will drive investment and innovation in the local economy.

"While conditions in Australia have been difficult, New Zealand's SMEs have been going along really strongly.

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"Despite steep falls in dairy commodities putting pressure on the economy, we've seen good results across a range of sectors, from construction and trades, to retail and manufacturing."

The end to Australia's mining boom was also impacting on small businesses and Kiwis looking to travel to Australia for work.

Western Australia and Queensland SMEs experienced significant revenue declines in the last 12 months at 43 and 39 per cent respectively.

New South Wales was the only state that saw a revenue increase.

"There are definitely still many small businesses adding jobs to the Australian economy, but they certainly will not be as plentiful as during the mining boom," Reed said.

"For Kiwis looking to travel over to Australia to pick up work, it will certainly pay to look closely at the current conditions in your industry, and how parts of Australia are likely to be tracking over the next year."

SMEs in both countries were positive about their revenue, with New Zealand small business owners slightly more confident at 37 per cent compared to 31 per cent Australian owners expecting revenue growth.

"There are also some lessons that could be learned in Australia from the way New Zealand supports its small business community, particularly in terms of the compliance regime and the Government's efforts to work closely with industry to genuinely make it easier for businesses to manage things like reporting and tax," Reed said.

 - Stuff

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