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Wednesday March 03, 2010

Business owners divided over GFC

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Australian business owners are equally divided on the affects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), according to a survey based on RMIT University research.

Slightly more than a third of business operators said they had been adversely affected by the GFC, a similar number said it had little effect and the rest, 27 per cent, were unsure.

Queensland and Western Australia were at either end of the spectrum. Queensland was the most pessimistic, with 56 per cent of business owners saying they were hit by the GFC.

But in Western Australia less than a quarter (23 per cent) said they had been affected and 62 per cent - a national high - were adamant that they had not suffered.

Among those bruised by the GFC, the worse affected was the transport and storage sector, with almost 60 per cent of business owners admitting they had suffered.

The survey of 5,000 companies was sponsored by leading international accounting firm, MGI Australasia, which specialises in the family and privately-owned business sector.

The results are part of the MGI Australian Family and Private Business Survey, which was undertaken by RMIT. The researchers undertaking the current study are Professor Kosmas Smyrnios and Lucio Dana. The full report will be available mid-year.

MGI Australasia Executive Chairman, Mal Di Giulio, said that half the companies surveyed had cut costs because of the GFC, with 34 per cent deferring the hiring of staff, 26 per cent postponing expansion plans and a quarter reviewing the viability of products and services they were offering.

“Some business owners saw the GFC as a major threat. Others regarded it as a mere whimper,” he said.

Source: RMIT University;ID=8qdnd2dtbq4y;STATUS=A

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