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Last modified: 01 Mar 2021 2:24pm

View down a row of stalls at a busy marketSelwyn businesses are increasingly confident about the future.

The findings come from the second Selwyn Business Survey, a quarterly survey organised by the Council, which shows businesses are overwhelmingly more positive about the outlook over the next six months.

The February survey of 120 businesses from over 17 different industries shows confidence growing after a year affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The results showed 28% of businesses were expecting their profits to increase over the next six months and 9% are expecting to hire new staff. This compared to 10% of businesses that reported reduced profits over the previous six months, while 6% of businesses reduced staff in that time.

Council Group Manager Community Services and Facilities Denise Kidd says it was good to see the positive outlook despite the challenges of the pandemic.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see businesses reporting that they’re planning to hire over the next six months. Especially as autumn and winter are typically quieter periods for hiring.”

The pandemic led to challenges accessing supplies and finding skilled and semi-skilled staff. Businesses are also expecting costs to rise in the next six months.

However, there were also positives for business, with 35% reporting 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,” Denise says.

The results were presented to around 60 business leaders at the second Council business breakfast on Tuesday (23 February), organised to support businesses through practical speakers and encouraging networking.

The guests also heard from the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce with practical tips on wellbeing and staff retention and support.