A fifth of Coromandel businesses who responded to an economic survey say they expect to increase staff numbers by five employees over the next six months.
The online survey by regional economic development agency Te Waka was held during August.
When asked on a scale of 1-10 how confident they are about the future success of their business - 10 being high confidence, and 1 being not confident - the average for Coromandel was 6.1, while the average confidence score for Hauraki was 7.7.
Just 14 per cent of Coromandel businesses are forecasting that sales for the second half of 2020 will be more than 50 per cent lower than the same time last year.
In Hauraki, forecast sales compared to July to December 2019 reported 21 per cent no change, 17 per cent higher, and 4 significantly higher.
Some 65 per cent don't expect to change the number of full-time employees over the next six months.
Another 20 per cent of the businesses said they expected to increase full-time employees by up to five people.
"I'm proud of how tenacious our businesses and our people are as they continue to overcome the challenges life throws at them. We are optimistic, adaptable and resilient," Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie said.
"You can see this reflected in the data and how many businesses have moved into developing the digital paradigm and more online offerings of their products and services."
Toby Adams, Mayor of Hauraki District Council, thanked those who took part in the survey.
"It's given us some really useful insights into how our business communities are faring in these challenging times and where there might be a need for more support. Overall, it's heartening to see that business confidence is still quite high in our district and we'll continue to work with Te Waka to develop programmes and help out where we can."
Digital enablement and marketing planning ranked highest in the type of support needed by Hauraki businesses according to the survey, at 42 per cent and 29 per cent of areas requiring support.
- 82 per cent on the Coromandel recorded same or decreased in sales during March- May 2020, compared to the same time in 2019
- 50 per cent said their sales were lower by 20 per cent or more
- 77 per cent forecast same or declining sales July-December 2020 compared to the same time in 2019
On Coromandel businesses staffing:
- 28 per cent said they had decreased staff numbers due to COVID. 65 per cent said there had been no change
- 13 per cent expect to decrease staff numbers moving forward
- 23 per cent expect to increase staff numbers moving forward
- 48 per cent believe there is a skills shortage when looking to hire a new employee
- 4 per cent have continued to adopt remote working post lockdown
- 12 per cent have not accessed the wage subsidy or its extension
The greatest challenges were Covid-19, a declining market, wage rates/cost of staff, weather-related challenges and recruiting issues.
"Winter is always our quiet season, and we anticipate domestic tourism activity, which makes up a significant share of our market, to pick up heading into summer," Mayor Goudie said.
On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was hosted at the Kōpū Station Hotel as we thanked the Government for the $8.2 million Provincial Growth Fund grant to build the Kōpū Business and Marine Servicing Precinct.
The funding will go towards planning and construction of an upgraded boat ramp and a floating pontoon that will provide all-tide access for vessels, including large mussel barges and working boats, to enable in-water servicing.
Survey results for the wider Waikato also show, by and large, Waikato businesses expect their sales revenue in the second half of 2020 to be below 2019 levels, though by a far lower margin than was seen between March and May this year.
Over the next six months, 28 per cent of Waikato businesses expect to hire staff, with only 11 per cent expecting to reduce staff numbers. This trend is more evident in businesses with more than 11 full-time staff, with 39 per cent of these expecting to hire and 15 per cent requiring fewer staff within the next six months.
Russ Rimmington, Waikato Regional Council chairman, said: "Waikato, at least, looks like a better place to be than most others, and a decent number of organisations are looking to take on workers. But there seems to be a mismatch between the skills of those available for work, and those that job-rich businesses need. There is a clear need for our education and training organisations to step up here."
Free websites built by Wintec students
Head of Partnerships at Rocketspark, Jason Tiller, says his business will continue to supply an award-winning website builder and work with Wintec students to offer free websites to support new startups and local business owners facing the effects of Covid-19 restrictions.
"Every business needs a website and the students can design a bespoke e-commerce website for a local business, for free.
"This partnership is creating a path for businesses to sell online, and it proves you don't need to outlay massive amounts of money to launch into the e-commerce space."
Business owners interested in getting a free e-commerce website designed by Wintec students can contact Ehsan.firstname.lastname@example.org