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48% SMEs will focus on growth in 2023, despite recession risks

Australian businesses took a hit in 2022, with the largest recorded quarterly rise to the cost-of-living index since September 2000 – but they won’t catch a break just yet. Economists predict a looming recession in the year ahead. Despite the wary forecast, however, new research reveals that half (48 per cent) of small-to-medium businesses are still looking to expand in 2023. 

A new survey of an independent panel of 210 business owners and decision makers, commissioned by business loan comparison site Small Business Loans Australia, found that whilst 48 per cent of businesses planned to expand in 2023, more than double the number Australian businesses will focus on expansion in 2023 (48 per cent), than those in 2022 (22 per cent), 2020 (20 per cent), 2021 (17 per cent) and 2019 (18 per cent). 

Across the states and territories, the highest proportion of businesses focusing on growth are in Western Australian businesses, with 88 per cent of businesses having expanded since 2019. Although South Australia held the largest number of businesses focusing on growth in 2022 (26 per cent), they are set to be overtaken by the ACT in 2023, with 60 per cent of businesses intending to focus on growth this year. They will be followed closely by Queensland and New South Wales, with 52 per cent and 51 per cent of businesses focusing on growth this year, respectively. 

Alon Rajic, Founder and Managing Director of Small Business Loans Australia, says: “Our research indicates that regardless of a potential economic slowdown, SMEs will continue to be resilient against hardship. With the risks of a recession, however, businesses are best to make smart financial choices when expanding.”

The full survey results, including breakdowns across business sizes and States, can be found here: https://smallbusinessloansaustralia.com/growth-in-recession/