A NEW survey released by CPA Australia has found slumping confidence in the nation's small business industry.
The sixth annual Asia Pacific Small Business survey found 34 per cent of Australia’s small businesses reported growth over the past 12 months with less than half expecting growth over the following 12 months.
This is compared to Indonesia with 82 per cent of small businesses expecting to grow in 2015, while in Vietnam the number is 78 per cent and in Mainland China it's 66 per cent.
The most cited reason for lack of growth in Australia was a poor overall economic environment, followed by falling sales and rising costs.
Chief Executive of CPA Australia, Alex Malley says something needs to be done to ensure confidence is injected into small business and the Federal Government's focus on reducing red tape is the right strategy.
"When you consider small business is the engine room of the Australian economy, stalling confidence is an issue that needs to be addressed,” says Malley.
“The Government’s red tape reduction policy and initiatives to boost small business activity are clearly well targeted and timed and are what Australian small businesses need to turn around confidence.”
Digital innovation and e-commerce is another area of concern with only 45 per cent of Australian respondents stating they use social media for business purposes.
“Where less than half of Australian small businesses are utilising social media for business purposes, that number is 90 per cent or greater in Indonesia, Mainland China, Vietnam and Malaysia,” says Malley.
"These results underscore that we live in a very competitive Asia Pacific region and that Australia is being out-competed in many respects by our neighbours.”
Other key findings include 14 per cent of respondents in Australia expect to add staff numbers over 2015 and 35 per cent are likely to seek external financing over the next 12 months.
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