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Last modified: 28 Sep 2021 7:45am

An aerial view of Rolleston iZone

Selwyn businesses are hiring more staff and investing more as confidence grows.

The Council’s business survey, completed every six months, shows business confidence has increased dramatically since the previous survey in February.

Businesses reported an improving year and are positive about the coming six months, despite the survey being taken over the start of the most recent COVID-19 Alert Level 4.

The third Council business survey saw responses from 115 businesses. Almost a quarter of businesses (23%) reported growing sales in the past six months, compared to a 10% decrease in sales in the previous survey.

The survey showed 27% expect sales to grow further in the next six months and 14% expect their profitability to improve, despite rising costs—a higher level of optimism than the national average.

Hiring was also up with 10% of businesses having increased staff numbers and 16% expecting to hire more staff in the next six month. This is a sharp turnaround on the previous two surveys which both found falling staff numbers.

The most recent survey was conducted from 10 to 20 August 2021, crossing the change to Alert Level 4 on 17 August. There were 77 survey responses before the alert level move was announced and 38 responses afterwards. Despite this, there was little difference in the responses before and after the alert level change, with a slight increase in confidence from responses after the move to Alert Level 4.

While the global pandemic continues to bring some uncertainty and supply chain disruptions, investment rose and 17% of businesses expect to increase investment further over the next six months.

The survey results were great to see after some uncertain times for Selwyn businesses, Council Group Manager Community Services and Facilities Denise Kidd says.

“Through these surveys we’ve seen the resilience of businesses in Selwyn and the community support. It’s heartening to see the hard work of the past year paying off and is very encouraging to hear of increasing investment and more people employed, as businesses tap into the great opportunities in Selwyn.”