START SMALL: Most micro-businesses don't make big dollars but with support they can grow.
START SMALL: Most micro-businesses don't make big dollars but with support they can grow. Supplied

Micro-businesses the new trend in Gladstone

THE NUMBER of micro-businesses in the Gladstone region has increased slightly since 2016.

That is according to the results of Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry's recently released Boom Bust Recharge business study.

The chamber defines a micro-business as one with less than five employees.

In 2016, 46 per cent of businesses identified as micro-businesses.

This year that number has grown to 47 per cent - a minor increase compared to the big increase between 2014 and 2016 of 9 per cent.

The business study report revealed a decreasing number of micro-businesses are members of a regional peak organisation.

The Gladstone region has three peak organisations: GCCI, Gladstone Engineering Alliance and Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited.

In 2014, 53 per cent of micro-business respondents were members.

By 2016 that number had dropped to 41 per cent and the 2018 survey revealed it had dropped to 30 per cent.

When asked what were the three biggest issues their business faced, 25 per cent of micro-business respondents said it was a decline in work.

This was also the biggest problem identified by small, large and medium businesses.

Thirteen per cent of micro-business respondents said financial management was the biggest issue.

The same percentage said "trying to compete'' was their biggest issue while 11 per cent named marketing as the key problem they faced.

Survey responses from small and medium businesses found economic downturn was an issue with about 20 per cent of respondents in these groups listing this as their top issue.

The downturn was not a key issue for the majority of respondents with a micro-business.

"Staff issues'' was significant for small and large businesses, but again this was not raised by a large number of micro-business respondents.