Understanding and supporting business in the Hills Shire: The second Hills Shire Business PSI

Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 marks the second Hills Shire edition of the Business PSI, a tracking index created by McCrindle to measure business conditions, performance, and sentiment through a survey of businesses residing in the Hills Shire area. The Business PSI can be used across local governments and regions to better understand and support local business.

The Sydney Hills population is growing 20% faster than the national average (1.9% p.a. compared to 1.6% p.a.) at 169,872 people each year, with average households being significantly larger than the national average (3.1 compared to 2.6 people per household) and home to a higher proportion of students, university educated adults and full time workers than the national and state averages.

The Hills Shire Business PSI is an important measure for an area that relies so heavily on small business as a driver of the local economy. The 2016 survey was conducted 6 months on from the initial survey and captures the constant change in the Hills Shire region.

Download the full report here.

Businesses expanding and growing in the Hills Shire

The results from 2016 show that the business environment is more positive 6 months on from the last survey with sentiment being significantly improved from last year. Businesses are expanding and projected to expand even more in the next 6 months, with business owners seeing this not only as a physical expansion but also due to increases in staffing levels, as the region continues to grow.

Business owners more positive about national economic conditions

Business owners perceive the economic conditions of our nation to be considerably better than 6 months ago with conditions expected to improve even more over the next 6 months. This increase was also reflected in perceptions of the local economic conditions.

New Additions to the PSI survey

The Net Promoter Score was introduced in 2016 as a measure of how likely business owners and managers are to recommend doing business in The Hills Shire to a friend or colleague. 78% indicated that they would probably or definitely recommend The Hills Shire as a place to do business to a friend or colleague, showing high levels of engagement.

Chairman of the Sydney Hills Business Chamber, Anthony Moss, in partnership with the Hills Shire Council, commissioned the Business PSI to measure the pulse of the Hills Shire. “The Business PSI survey results reflect a true snapshot of business in the region. We are thankful for those who completed the survey, including individuals representing businesses of all sizes including, medium to large (20+ staff), small (5-19 staff), micro (1-5 staff) and non-employing businesses.”

Hills Shire Council Mayor Dr Michelle Burns endorses the PSI tool. “The Sydney Hills Business Chamber and the team at McCrindle Research have done another fantastic job at measuring the sentiment of businesses in The Hills. It’s great to hear that the sentiment is generally improving – however it’s unsurprising that the main frustration of businesses is infrastructure.”

The results of the 2nd Hills Shire Business PSI were presented on 11 May 2016 at the Castle Hill RSL and are available for download via the Sydney Hills Business Chamber website.


Exploring the Sentiment of Sydneysiders

Monday, January 18, 2016

In August 2015, McCrindle Research surveyed 1,007 Sydneysiders on their attitudes and sentiments towards the current state and The Future of Sydney.

Future analysis of the sentiments of Sydneysiders has now been conducted, revealing the differences in sentiment within various demographic categories towards how Sydney is now, compared to 5 years ago and to how they perceive Sydney to be in 5 years’ time.

Males more optimistic

1 in 5 (20%) males are expectant optimists who stated that they think Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and it will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with only 14% of females.

Overall, 37% of males think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago and 35% think that Sydney will be even better in 5 years’ time compared with 30% and 28% of females respectively.

Generation Y the most positive

1 in 5 (20%) Gen Y’s are expectant optimists with Baby Boomers having the smallest proportion in this category (14%) with 3 in 5 (60%) Gen X’s and Baby Boomers falling into the concerned pessimists category.

Over 2 in 5 (42%) Gen Y’s think that Sydney is better now it was 5 years ago but only 1 in 4 (26%) Baby Boomers feel the same way. Just over 7 in 10 Gen X’s (73%) and Baby Boomers (72%) think that Sydney will be worse in 5 years’ time, compared with just over 3 in 5 (63%) Gen Y’s.

City dwellers have a more buoyant outlook than those in the outer suburbs

The Central region of Sydney is the region with the largest proportion of expectant optimists at 20% with the South West region having the lowest at 15%.

However, the over 1 in 3 respondents from the South West region (35%) stated that they think that Sydney will be better in 5 years’ time, the highest proportion out of all the regions, followed by the Western Suburbs with 33%.

Families with dependents more upbeat

1 in 5 (20%) respondents who live in a household with children are expectant optimists compared with fewer than 1 in 6 (15%) who live in a household without children.

Almost 2 in 5 (39%) respondents living in a household with children stated that they think that Sydney is better now than it was 5 years ago compared with 3 in 10 (31%) of those in households without children.

Middle income earners most optimistic

Surprisingly, the proportion of respondents who are concern pessimists was higher in those in 2nd highest income quintile than those in the other 4 quintiles.

The largest proportion of respondents who stated that they think Sydney is better than it was 5 years ago was of those in the middle income quintile (40%).

The lower the perception of population size, the higher the optimism

Respondents who underestimated Sydney’s population the most (1 or 2 million) were the most likely to have been expectant optimists at 24% with those having the closest estimations being the most likely to be concerned pessimists (4 million = 53%, 5 million = 55%).

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