Small businesses in Murray Bridge are finding it hard to get staff, survey finds
A shortage of housing, transport and childcare is making things difficult, the Office for Small and Family Business’ Leah Rusby has told Business Murray Bridge members.
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A shortage of housing, public transport and childcare is making it hard for Murray Bridge businesses to hire staff.
Workforce and recruitment issues were among the biggest challenges facing local businesses, according to a survey by the state Office for Small and Family Business.
Speaking at a Business Murray Bridge breakfast last week, spokeswoman Leah Rusby said business owners across South Australia were struggling to access capital, hire workers and maintain good mental health, among other problems.
But workforce challenges were particularly pronounced among the nearly 1400 small businesses in Murray Bridge, the survey and a recent round-table discussion had suggested.
Other key challenges for business owners were finding the time to devote to managing their businesses – “they find it very hard to juggle family and work/life balance” – as well as:
Accessing government services, funding and mentoring
Cashflow problems and access to capital
Supply chain issues
“One that came out quite strongly from the Murray Bridge responses was supply chain shortages, particularly over the last few years – that’s no surprise – with the pandemic and now while the world recovers,” she said.
The survey will inform a South Australian small business strategy which is due to be released in April.
Ms Rusby said the strategy would focus most closely on helping businesses with business fundamentals, digital skills, mental health and regional service delivery.
More information: business.sa.gov.au.
Businesses hear about Murray Bridge News Network, Shop Local SA
Other presenters at the breakfast included Murray Bridge News’ Peri Strathearn – that’s me – and Jane Intini, plus Murray Bridge council CEO Michael Sedgman.
Ms Intini and I spoke about opportunities for local businesses to get involved with the Murray Bridge News Network, which will convert TVs in public places into digital displays showing local news, photos and information, along with advertising.
Not only will there be no up-front cost to businesses interested in hosting one of the screens, Murray Bridge News will actually share a proportion of its advertising revenue, turning a passive asset – a TV which might otherwise B-grade reality shows all day – into a profit centre.
Murray Bridge News is seeking expressions of interest from local businesses by the end of February.
Meanwhile, Mr Sedgman noted that the council would subsidise a limited number of local businesses interested in setting up online shop-fronts through Shop Local SA.
The offer meant local bricks-and-mortar retailers – or other businesses – could set up an online presence at no up-front cost.
Shop Local SA would take a percentage of sales made by participating businesses.
Mr Sedgman also alerted those present an upcoming workshop, exclusive to Business Murray Bridge members, about council procurement and how to become an approved supplier.
More information will be emailed to Business Murray Bridge members and made available on the association’s Facebook page.
Read more: Announcing the Murray Bridge News Network
More information about Shop Local SA: about.shoplocalsa.com.au.
Disclosure: The author is a member of the Business Murray Bridge committee and, as mentioned above, spoke at the breakfast.