Annual business survey


Byron Shire conducted research in 2017 to gain an understanding of the current and future needs of businesses in the Shire. Over 1000 businesses participated in the online survey between September and December 2017.

Business outlook

Across the Shire:

  • 70% of businesses rate their outlook as good to very good over the next twelve months.

  • 84% of businesses in the Byron Industrial and Arts Centre rated their business outlook as very good or good.

The reasons for this were:

  • general optimism

  • confidence in their businesses and competence

  • market growth

  • increased tourism

  • an increase in freelance consultancy work as workplaces become more flexible

  • online growth.

Several businesses noted an increase in interest in health and wellbeing, “People are becoming more aware of the importance of their health” contributing to a positive outlook.

Employment outlook

In the next 12 months:

  • 34% of businesses intend to employ more people

  • 62% will retain the same number of employees.

  • Employment growth is expected to be stronger in the Byron Industrial and Arts Centre, with 55% of businesses anticipating increasing the number of employees.

  • Overall, businesses in the Shire anticipate employing approximately 550 more people in the year ahead 

Changes in the next 12 months

  • Sales are expected to increase in the next 12 months by 54%, as well as increased capacity in their business (42%).

  • One of the biggest changes in the next twelve months is in the Internet. Almost half (46%) of businesses anticipate increased Internet requirements.

  • 18% businesses anticipate requiring additional office space

  • 17% businesses anticipate requiring additional office space and warehousing space.

Again, these figures are higher among businesses in the Byron Industrial and Arts Centre, where 36% expect an increase in the office space required and 30% anticipate a need for additional warehousing space.

The internet is expected to change for the better (more online sales) and the worse in the year ahead (with concerns that the NBN will not come quickly enough and the speeds will decrease as the network reaches capacity). Increased population and visitor numbers were seen as key drivers for sales growth.

  • 81% of businesses are planning to stay in their current location in the next 12 months, despite the increased demands for space.

  • 11% are planning to move within the Byron Shire.

  • 8% are planning to move out of the Shire. Affordability was given as the reason for moving out of the Shire. Those planning to move out of the Shire were from the full range of industries, rather than being a single clear group