Local's business confident of its future

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

SIXTEEN years ago, owning a small business meant having a shop front with your missus be- hind the counter and Fred from next door your only regular cus- tomer.

Today it means employing ac- credited staff, filing Business Ac- tivity Statements and working in a big store surrounded by comput- ers, faxes and phones.

But it seems the changes have come for the better, with small businesses in Queensland record- ing the highest employment growth, more business confidence and more capital expenditure in the latest Sensis Business Index.

And for Autobarn Gladstone owner John Blyde, building up and expanding his business was a risk worth taking.

'When we first opened 16 years ago we had 80 square metres, and two people working,' he said.

'Eight years ago we moved to a premises with 300 square metres with five or six workers; and now we have a new store of 700 square metres with about 12 people working.'

He said operating a small busi- ness was 'a lot more complicated these days', but businesspeople were also learning to work smart- er and more efficiently.

The latest national statistics showed business confidence in Queensland was 13 per cent high- er than the national average of 52 per cent.

It also found capital expendi- ture rose from -1 per cent to 6 per cent for the quarter.



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