Coffs Coast Small And Medium Sized Businesses Optimistic About Future

Fiona and Simon McCredie are optimistic about the future of their business


IT is obvious that many small and medium sized businesses in New South Wales have been doing it tough for some time now.

However, Mastercard has conducted research that shows that optimism across Australia for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) has doubled from 2020 to 2021 as businesses continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

In Australia, an SME is a business with 200 or less employees.

The research indicates that 73% of SMEs in NSW are the most optimistic about the future of their businesses over the next 12 months, while 82% of the state’s SMEs are optimistic for the next three years of business, compared to their counterparts in Queensland (75%) and Victoria (75%).

More than 60% of NSW SMEs have said that local community support, social media marketing and social media sales are key to their 2021 business success.

Local business owners, Fiona and Simon McCredie, are among the 82% of optimistic owners.

They operate Carpet Court and National Tiles in Coffs Harbour, and after worrying about how to get through lockdown, say that overall business has been better than the previous year.

Fiona suggested that an increase in people renovating because they can’t do anything else with their money has been a contributing factor.

“It’s been very helpful that there has been plenty of commercial work, such as the ambulance station at Toormina.”

Simon said that the construction sector on the Coffs Coast has been very strong.

“The major home builders that we deal with have a lot of work in front of them,” he said.

At the moment, Fiona and Simon continue with their current business strategies because of the strong community support.

For SMEs in other sectors and geographical areas, the Mastercard survey indicates that a ‘silver lining’ of the pandemic has been the surge in innovation and openness to innovate amongst SMEs, with 70% of businesses feeling more comfortable than ever in diversifying or launching new products or services in the future.

According to Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia, Mastercard, “Australian SMEs continue to show incredible resilience and agility in spite of COVID-19, and the Aussie ingenuity the nation is so famous for has played an essential role in getting businesses back on their feet.

“Innovation really is the bright spot amid the pandemic so that continuing industry support for these businesses with digital solutions and resources will be essential for the future,” he said

Decision makers in the SMEs surveyed indicated that the key to their business success in 2021 could come from social media marketing (65%), making their website easier for customers to use (61%), online sales (55%) and improving customer payment methods online (54%).

On the Coffs Coast, many small businesses are following these trends and new businesses are starting up to support them.


By Andrew VIVIAN

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