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Skills Shortage Bites And Confidence Wanes Among Business Owners

Autumn chills have crept through the economy with current conditions eroding confidence among business owners.

In The Alternative Board’s Autumn Pulse Check, business owners report their focus has shifted from the immediate impacts of the pandemic and they are now dealing with the consequences of COVID19 rather than COVID19 itself. Those consequences include tackling a serious skills shortage coupled with changing employee expectations regarding pay and conditions. Some business owners are meeting those expectations, with more than 40% indicating they are now offering higher wages.

Despite the difficulties, business owners say they're doing ok – that they are staying steady and taking on the challenges as they arrive – but economic conditions, government policy including the recent Budget 22, have further dented their confidence.

Inflation and supply chain issues are adding to existing pressures. Concerns are emerging around lack of sales and, while most have enough sales for now, owners are worried they won't last.

To get through 2022, business owners are looking for more government or financial support while some are reporting they are exhausted and in need of a break.

Alfredo Puche of The Alternative Board said: “Inflationary pressures, supply chain and employment issues continue to be at the forefront of the many challenges business owners currently face and the pressures are starting to take their toll”.

The Alternative Board supports small to medium sized businesses and their owners through advisory boards consisting of other local business owners, expert one-on-one coaching, a suite of business planning tools and business mentoring. The Pulse Check is run as a regular monitor of the sector. The Autumn edition went to 2225 of our members and associates between 20 – 27 May 2022. Results have a confidence level of 90% and a 5% margin of error.

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