Strathbogie Shire’s business community has revealed that a lack of internet and mobile phone coverage and substantial cost of property rates are among the biggest concerns they face.
Results from Business Euroa’s first Business Survey also show that, of the 140 responses, agriculture and equine businesses make up half of the results, followed by professional, manufacturing and retail.
Asked about opportunities to grow businesses and employment, respondents’ suggest attracting new businesses to the Shire, promoting potential growth industries, promoting the Shire region and obtaining government infrastructure grants.
Run in conjunction with Strathbogie Shire Council and Nagambie Lakes Tourism & Commerce, the survey was released online and mailed directly to rural areas in September last year.
The survey results highlight the following information about our Shire businesses:
132 respondents operate for-profit businesses, with eight not-for-profit.
Largest employing industries are agriculture and equine followed by manufacturing.
30 survey participants employ family members and 26 employ non-family members.
27 respondents describe their enterprises as home-based.
69 per cent have been operating for over 10 years (mainly agricultural and equine businesses).
A wide range of goods and services are produced in the Shire, with agriculture and equine leading the list with beef cattle, sheep wool, sheep meat, crops, farm services and equine services.
A substantial geographic reach of their customer base as most businesses provide goods and services within the Shire region, with many trading beyond the Shire boundary (including 39 with international clientele).
47 per cent of respondents expect their sales turnover to increase this year.
Over a third of respondents generate sales from online sources with 5 businesses heavily reliant on internet sales.
Over the next two years, 57 businesses intend to make capital investments.
Business Euroa vice-president Andrew Dunning said business owners and managers have answered the call for their views and identified frustrating business gaps that are what’s missing or difficult and negatively impacts upon business performance.
"The closing of these gaps may then stimulate business improvements and probably open pathways for business growth and increased employment," he said.
"Respondents’ suggestions and ideas for opportunities, if acted upon, would likely bring forth positive outcomes in terms of growing businesses and creating jobs."
"The challenge now is to take notice of what’s been contributed by local business people and continue to engage with this very important sector of the Shire economy in order to make the most of the possibilities before us."
Council Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director Sustainable Development Phil Howard said the Business Survey was a joint initiative with Council and Business Euroa, derived from an action item in the Council Plan.
"It was great to partner with Business Euroa to roll the survey out, as it shows there was demand to gauge our Shire businesses and in turn continue to grow our economic development," he said.
The Business Survey report is now available on Business Euroa’s, Council’s and NLTC’s websites and will be sent to all survey respondents.
Click here to view the Business Survey Report.