REGIONAL business confidence is on the rise according to new research from Prushka Fast Debt Recovery, with 68% of businesses expressing some level of confidence with their current position, compared with 43% six months ago.
Prushka's Canary in the Coal Mine survey of 270 regional business clients from across Australia found 47% are aiming for growth in the coming year.
Despite the overall positive environment for businesses however, there is an undercurrent of uncertainty about the future, with 47% of respondents feeling the economy has had a negative impact on their business in the past year.
Profitability is a major concern for regional businesses with 58% citing it as their biggest worry for the coming year, followed by cash flow (42%) and growing their customer base (39%).
Regional businesses are also finding it more difficult to recover their debts, with 46% saying it has become harder in the past 12 months, higher than the national average of 42%.
Alarmingly, 62% of regional businesses are waiting more than 90 days before referring debts to a collection agency.
Experts suggest making personal follow-up calls to debtors can improve the percentage of invoices kept within acceptable limits.