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The results from the second Selwyn Business Survey - a quarterly survey organised by Selwyn District Council - show businesses are overwhelmingly more positive about the outlook over the next six months than during the first survey taken in September 2020.
Council group manager community services and facilities Denise Kidd said the survey is intended to take the pulse of the business community, with 120 businesses from more than 17 different industries taking part in the latest edition.
The results showed 28 per cent of businesses were expecting profits to increase over the next six months and 9 per cent are expecting to hire new staff.
Ten per cent of businesses reported reduced profits over the previous six months, while 6 per cent reduced staff in that time.
Kidd says it was good to see the positive outlook, despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic.
"It’s particularly pleasing to see businesses reporting that they’re planning to hire over next six months.
"Especially as autumn and winter are typically quieter periods for hiring."
The pandemic has led to challenges accessing supplies and finding skilled and semi-skilled staff, the report found, with 33 per cent of those surveyed saying they had found it difficult to find skilled staff.
Businesses are also expecting costs to rise in the next six months. However, 35 per cent reported having a closer relationship with customers, while businesses also reported an increase in use of online services, more flexible work arrangements, increased use of local suppliers and more efficient use of staff and resources.
"We know there are still challenges to come, but it’s good to see businesses and our community working together and adapting well and that we’re well placed for the long-term,” Kidd said.
The results were presented to about 60 business leaders at a council business and networking breakfast on Tuesday. The next event will be held in May.
- Read the full survey here