Small business optimism has improved this month with confidence rising to 40%, up from 29% in July. Confidence in local economies has also increased from 19% to 26%.
COVID-19 is no longer a primary issue, with attention turning towards the rising cost of business inputs, cash flow and/or working capital and mental health or stress levels for both staff and owners.
Although staff shortage concerns have risen since last month, 37% of businesses still have plans to expand their operations. Of these businesses, 67% are looking to hire additional staff.
While the percentage of businesses expecting an increase in revenue and profitability has risen since July, a greater percentage of businesses are still indicating that they anticipate a decline.