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The latest MYOB business monitor survey reveals Hawke's Bay is the country’s best performing region.
The survey of 1000 business owners and operators found 57% of operaters in the Bay reporting growth in the year to February 2014 and 59% expecting growth in the 12 months to February 2015.
Canterbury and Waikato also performed well, with 47% and 42% respectively reporting growth in year to February.
MYOB New Zealand business division sales manager Scott Gardiner says businesses in the region will welcome increased government spending to ensure they see the benefits of economic growth.
“The economy is doing well at the moment and many of the regions, especially those that have seen the benefits of a buoyant agri-business sector, are doing well,” he says.
In contrast, 35% of Bay of Plenty businesses reported a revenue loss of 35%, outstripping the 21% showing gains. In Northland, just 27% of businesses saw their revenue increase.
But Bay of Plenty is expecting some improvement with 38% forecasting revenue growth but still tempered by 23% expecting a drop.
“There are several key areas in the country where SMEs are continuing to struggle. Any investment in this area will make an enormous difference,” Mr Gardiner says.
“SMEs are vital to our communities – they provide services, create employment and support social development. We hope to see plenty of focus from the major parties on enhancing regional prosperity through supporting local business.”
The monitor suggests the most popular policy any party could focus on would be reducing the cost of broadband.
Some 76% of regional business operators would support this policy, while 62% of regional business operators believe ultra fast broadband would make a positive difference to their business.
“Over half of all regional businesses don’t currently have any online presence," Mr Gardiner says. “It would be great to see an increased focus on ensuring regional businesses can enjoy the benefits of the online economy.”