Uncertainty threatens business

The Federal Election is hurting business confidence, along with uncertainty over key policy areas such as Workplace Relations, according to the latest quarterly survey by the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.

Business conditions have fallen sharply as the NSW economy slows down, with the largest drop in business confidence recorded since July 2010. The full survey results can be found here.

The survey was taken immediately prior to the NSW election in March.

“A number of business owners expressed concern about the looming Federal Election and what the result might mean for them, and their employees,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.

“More than half of those surveyed felt their perceptions of the economy were as a result of what they are experiencing in their own business or local region,” Mr Cartwright said.

“As a result of the uncertainty, business across NSW is in a holding pattern and the brakes have been put on capital investment and business expansion.

“While neither of the major parties seems willing to talk about Workplace Relations as a key election battleground, it is at the top of the list for many small and family operated businesses.

“Issues such as ‘double dipping’ for casuals and the perception of greater union disruption in the future are factors that are worrying business owners across the state.

“It’s no surprise that the impact of the drought is also a factor in NSW. While it has tended to be forgotten about in Sydney, respondents in regional areas are feeling the impact of a reduction in discretionary spending, and cash flow challenges, as demand from primary producers has dried up.

“The Murray and New England areas recorded the sharpest drops in confidence, and need to be closely monitored for the rest of 2019.

“What business needs is certainty and fairness on issues such as Workplace Relations.

“Thought bubble policies driven by ideology, and political interference with independent bodies like the Fair Work Commission, will make it that much harder for small businesses to grow and create jobs, and will have far reaching negative consequences for employers, employees and our regional towns,” Mr Cartwright said.

/Public Release. View in full here.