PODCAST: as good as it gets for SMEs?

For the most part, small businesses are currently enjoying an environment compatible with growth, according to Cameron Research Group managing director Ross Cameron – in certain areas the best it’s been for some time

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Pic (L-R): Ross Cameron and Brad Solimo

“It does vary a little bit across the economy,” he told an A’n’Z of Economics podcast. “If you're exposed to infrastructure it's happy days, especially in Victoria and New South Wales. If you're a retailer it's pretty patchy.” 

" “[The outlook is] probably as good as it's been for a long time.” 

“I would suggest there are pockets doing particularly well and there's some struggling a bit but overall it's probably as good as it's been for a long time.”

Cameron was a guest on the podcast alongside ANZ client and business operator Brad Solimo of the Sorco Group. You can click below to hear an edited version of the comments – or go to the A’n’Z of Economics Soundcloud page to listen to the full podcast.

But it’s not all good news. While soft wages growth is generally good for businesses looking to hire, it’s not great news for businesses sensitive to household incomes and spending. Businesses are still paying close attention to their costs as utility bills in particular continue to rise.

Cameron agreed there were different factors driving both growth and headwinds for SMEs across the economy, acknowledging some businesses are “running lean because we've come off a period where it's been pretty tough”.

“I heard someone say to me a few years ago ‘once the economy really improves business owners will pin the ears back and… we’ll be throwing money everywhere’,” he said.

“I don't think that will happen. There’s been like a seismic shift in the way business owners think and I think that's still the case. “

“They've become a little bit more of a frugal bunch. Sure there's investment as and when necessary but it's not as though they're going hell for leather to reinvest.”

Cameron also touched on the desire for businesses to be successful and the surprising way that plays out in expansion plans. Listen to the podcast above to find out more.

Daniel Gradwell is a Senior Economist at ANZ Research

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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