Building boon for small business

Sunday 11 July 2004

The building boom is a bonanza for small businesses, which are growing almost 5 per cent a year – faster than the rest of the economy.

By The Landlord

The economy as a whole grew 3.6 per cent in the March year, but a National Bank survey, out tomorrow, shows small business activity was up 4.7 per cent.

Small businesses employ up to 20 staff. The survey polled about 600 business throughout New Zealand, but excluded farms.

A recent Treasury research report shows that 96 per cent of firms employ fewer than 20 people, but account for about only 30 per cent of the total workforce.

The main boost to small businesses came from strength in the construction sector and a spill-over into shop sales and related services. Building new homes tends to increase sales of items such as new fridges, stoves, carpets and furniture.

High migration rates into New Zealand led to almost 32,000 home building consents in the year to May, the highest for a May year since 1975. But this trend has been slowing since January, hit by both slower migration and rising interest rates.

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