Business Confidence at 7-Year High

19 September 2017

Results from the 2017 Albury Wodonga Business Survey point to increasing confidence in the local economic environment, with 60% of businesses feeling more positive about the year ahead than they have in seven years. Similarly, 70% of businesses are optimistic about the outlook of their individual operations over the next 12 months.

This upsurge in confidence is also evidenced in the 62% of businesses that plan to undertake capital improvements in the next year, which is the highest percentage in 8 years.

The digital economy continues to be a focus for local businesses with more than half of respondents (53%) generating sales online, and website, Facebook and email marketing being the most popular digital tools. The top three3 digital engagement barriers wereas the cost, the time / effort involved, and the perceived lack of customer demand.

Albury Mayor Kevin Mack said: “Businesses continue to embrace the digital economy and a key focus now is ensuring we have better digital connections – a challenge that needs to be met by service providers and governments to enable industry to continue to grow.

“Locally, Albury and Wodonga Councils are working towards becoming a ‘Smart Community,’ which will look at ways to use technology-based solutions to improve liveability, productivity and sustainability – and this will have strong, fruitful implications for local businesses.”

Businesses continue to embrace the digital economy as they’re witnessing its capacity to grow all industry sectors. To this end, Albury and Wodonga Councils are currently working towards becoming a ‘Smart Community,’ which will look at ways to use technology-based solutions to improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of the cities – and this will have strong, fruitful implications for local businesses.

Other challenges include increased costs which impacted 59% of businesses impacted by increased costs, and cross-border issues which affected 42% of respondents those (42%) affected by cross-border issues. Positively, the overwhelming majority (91%) of businesses provide sponsorship, dollar donations or in-kind contributions to the local community.

A joint initiative of AlburyCity and Wodonga Council, the 2017 Business Survey received 510 responses. The Key Findings Report is now available, together with a short clip.

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