Small business owners operating in finance and insurance are feeling positive about the year ahead, but overall confidence has tapered off.
A new survey has found confidence among small and medium business owners fell slightly in the last quarter of 2014. The Sensis Business Index found that, while 51% of small and medium business owners feel positive about the year ahead, 24% report feeling worried.
Confidence in the finance and insurance sector was strong, along with business services, transport and storage and health and community services. Manufacturing showed the lowest business confidence, below the retail and construction sectors.
The report also revealed a growing gap between metropolitan and regional businesses, with confidence among regional businesses proving the main source of the overall decline in sentiment.
“Regional Australia is doing it tough. Confidence levels vary across the states, but in general, regional businesses are significantly less confident than their metropolitan counterparts about the coming year," Sensis CEO John Allan said.