Just 14 of 725 businesses are at risk of closure within the next 12 months.
Just 14 of 725 businesses are at risk of closure within the next 12 months. Mike Richards GLA190117GCBD

Incredible turnaround in Gladstone insolvency risk report

A NEW report has shown fewer businesses are at risk of insolvency in Gladstone than Rockhampton and Mackay.   

The SV Partners Commercial Risk Outlook Report for March showed 14 of Gladstone's 725 registered businesses, or 1.9 per cent, were at risk of failure.   

The figure is down from 2.5 per cent 12 months ago.   

Associate director Frank O'Neill said Gladstone's outlook was more positive than many other Queensland regions, including Rockhampton with 25, or 2.6 per cent and Mackay with 75, or 2.5 per cent, of businesses at risk of closure.   

Business owner and Gladstone Chamber of Commerce member Lyndal Hansen said the recent Boom, Bust, Reset survey showed similar results.   

The results, due to be released in full later this month, showed fewer businesses were considering closing down within the next 12 months.   

"I wasn't expecting (those results) actually, because there are still a lot of businesses doing it hard," she said.   

"I've closed one of my businesses up town, I know how hard it is when there's not the flow of traffic and people that there once was.  

"Businesses just need to pull back, retain what you can and find what works."  

She said the results showed businesses were "balancing out" post-boom.  

"Most of the results show that we're riding the post-boom wave OK," she said.  

Despite the decrease in "at risk" businesses, Mr O'Neill said warned owners not to become complacent during the growth period.  

The SV Partners report showed the administrative and support services industry within Gladstone was at the highest risk of insolvency, with 5.6% classified in the "severe to high" risk band.   

"Use this time instead to put in place strategies to ensure medium to long-term viability and plan how to take advantage of forthcoming opportunities," Mr O'Neill said.   

"Businesses need strong strategies to survive.   

"That means constantly seeking operational improvements, managing their cash flows and ensuring they can manage their debt levels.  

"By future-proofing themselves now, businesses can ensure they remain viable in the face of changing economic circumstances and during low ebbs in the business cycle."   

Mr O'Neill said the "positive outlook" was led by private investments in education, healthcare and manufacturing.    "Many industries which underpin Gladstone's economic base including utilities, education and professional services, currently have no businesses in the high to severe risk category," Mr O'Neill said.   

The report's findings show a total of 12,338 businesses, or 2.4 per cent of incorporated Australian businesses across all industries, are at high to severe risk of financial failure over the next 12 months.   

The report, due to be released in about a fortnight, draws upon commercially-sourced records and data assets to identify struggling sectors.