WA business owners say there is a renewed sense of confidence among local companies, as a new report shows WA is leading the nation in terms of activity and conditions.
NAB’s latest monthly business survey comes as employers, particularly smaller enterprises, are expected to benefit from today’s Federal Budget, with tax breaks and red tape cuts flagged.
As part of a $112 million package, the Federal Government will increase the small business entity turnover threshold from $10m to $50m for 10 different tax concessions.
A wage incentive for small and medium-sized businesses to take on new workers is also anticipated.
Any Budget boost to business will add to increased optimism in the State. NAB’s survey showed business conditions in WA, which covers trading, profitability and employment, surged to 10 points in September — the highest of all the states — from 2 points in the previous month.
Nationally, the picture was far bleaker, with business conditions still in negative territory, rising to -2 last month from -5 in August.
The NAB survey also showed confidence among WA businesses rose 1 point last month to 6, compared to the national average of -9.
WA was also leading the nation in terms of capacity utilisation, which measures a company’s level of activity against the resources it has on hand.
“WA is the only state that has actually surpassed its February level, which indicates that things are going well in an overall activity sense,” NAB senior economist Gareth Spence said.
Mr Spence said WA was benefiting from both its exposure to commodity exports, as well as a boost from domestic spending activity due to the State’s hard border policy.
“It looks like people still want to get out and substitute travel for new goods and internal trips around the state, and WA is definitely the standout amongst other states in terms of capital utilisation,” he said.
Meg Coffey, managing director of social media agency Coffey & Tea, said WA businesses were in one of the “best positions in the world” to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even just compared to July to now, there’s a renewed sense of confidence and optimism out there,” she said.
Ms Coffey added that the difference between the end of March and September was “night and day.”
“The end of March was devastating … but what has happened is that people have realised how important online is and social media has been the main means of communication, so we are so busy now,” she said.
“There are still plenty of businesses struggling, and businesses that may not recover from this, and I feel grateful to be one of the ones that has recovered.”