It's not just households that are at the mercy of the rising cost of living - it's businesses, too, and according to a new survey, over 20 per cent are considering cutting staff due to cost pressures.
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If a business owns or rents property, sells food, transports goods, or uses gas and electricity, it is affected by rising costs.
The latest Business Conditions Survey by Business NSW found one in five NSW businesses were looking to cut staff because of the spiralling cost of doing business.
Western NSW regional director at Business NSW, Vicki Seccombe, said enterprises were feeling the pinch.
"Businesses were looking forward to expanding post-lockdown but what we are seeing is business owners going into survival mode over the next year," she said.
"It's worrying to see staff cuts emerge as a response to the cost increases."
The Daily Liberal was unable to find a local business prepared to talk about the topic of job cuts by deadline.
However, when asked if costs were spiralling for regional businesses, Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president, Errin Williamson, said they were "increasing for everybody, not just businesses".
"The cost of materials, rising wages which we obviously support so much - they deserve to be paid what they're worth - energy, fuel, even the costs of transporting tools to us has increased, as well as gas," Ms Williamson told the Daily Liberal.
"A lot of hospitality businesses are looking to see how they can move away from gas in the future - but what would that mean looking forward? This is because of the expense and potential shortages in the future as well."
The Business NSW survey polled more than 1,200 businesses across the state and revealed 59 per cent of owners would maintain the same headcount while only 19 per cent were looking to bring people on.
The remaining 22 per cent of business owners intended to cut staff, with the highly-casualised workforces of arts and recreation, accommodation and food services and retail most likely to be the sectors hardest hit by job cuts.
Ms Secombe said Western NSW businesses were showing similar results to the overall state results, with 24 per cent of businesses advising they planned to cut staff.
Many business owners had been absorbing price increases into their profits.
"Now we are seeing the result of softening demand and what is a likely increase in unemployment across the state's economy," Ms Secombe said.
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She said 26 per cent of Western NSW businesses considered themselves to not have enough business activity to survive 2023 and the rising cost of business was regarded as "the biggest barrier to operating at full potential".
Housing shortages were also impacting businesses, with more than one in three (35 per cent) business owners referring to affordability of housing for workers as the biggest barrier to hiring new employees, according to Business NSW.
Dubbo Chamber's Ms Williamson said, on the upside, she hadn't noticed an impact on patron numbers that coincided with the rising cost of living, at her own cafe and restaurant.
She also thought Dubbo was well-placed to weather the storm.
"I think the fact that in the region there is such a diverse range of businesses, and the Dubbo region has a big commitment to innovation and resilience, so I think we are well-positioned to weather this period and come out stronger," she said.
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