Gladstone businesses don't expect boom or bust this year

RESILIENCE - being capable of returning to an original form or position after being bent, compressed or stretched.

Resilient is how our local businesses were described at a recent workshop to analyse results of the Boom or Bust Gladstone Region Business Study.

The Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry lead study was aimed at gathering data on what local businesses had faced over the past three years and what businesses were predicting for the next 12 months, as well as why some businesses were struggling while others were booming.

Results of the study confirmed that businesses were indeed "bent, compressed or stretched" with more than 50% of responding businesses benefiting from the industrial boom.

This happened through increased customer base, increases in income, and being able to provide new products and service.

However, this was coupled with a host of adverse effects that more than 50% of responding businesses felt, including higher costs, higher wages and increased competition in the region.

Business owners are also optimistic for the future with four in five responding businesses planning to retain and even increase the workforce over the next 12 months; one quarter of responding businesses are investing more to increase the size of the business; and one in six responding businesses are changing the line of business.

Some businesses are now testing their resilience and this by no means comes easily, with one in five responding businesses planning to reduce their workforce over the next 12 months.

Realistically, businesses are predicting that the next 12 months may not provide the same high that has been experienced over the past 12 months.

But by no means is this a bust. It's more like a return to an original form or position… a test of resilience.