Definition of business confidence. An economic indicator that measures the amount of optimism or pessimism that businessmanagers feel about the prospects of their companies/ organisations. It also provides an overview of the state of the economy.
The economics of Norfolk Island has always been a strange business. Depending on who you spoke/speak to, business was/is booming or things are in the doldrums and people are shutting their doors faster than a fat kid at a cake buffet. Some retailers will tell you that Duty Free is the only thing sustaining the island and others declare that it is deader than a Goth party.
The truth of the matter was probably somewhere in between but there is no denying that since the decision has been made to fully integrate with the Australian taxation and welfare system and the announcement of stimulus projects on the island business confidence is up. There are a few indicators of this:
Houses are selling out faster than a rapper going mainstream. Up to 50 properties have changed hands in the last 6-8 months according to real estate agencies on island. Although they are hesistant to use the word boom, real estate agents are cautiously optimistic about the current trends and see no reason for the demand to wane. What this also means is that banks are starting to lend for sales on the island again. Because of the bulk of the property on island devaluing to such a large extent over the last 10 years, banks stopped lending and indivuals or businesses were too worried to extend mortgages in case the valuations cam in at less than what they owed. A genuine concern and true in many cases. Property values are now levelling out and stabilizing and that is thanks to the perception of future stability in governance.
New business enterprises are starting up. 3 new businesses have started in the last month on Norfolk. 7 in the last 4 months. And while that may not sound like a lot consider our population of 1600.
Norfolk Island will still be a low tax regime. The Commonwealth Government has announced that Australian GST will not apply on Norfolk. It has determined that to introduce GST to this fragile economy would be too detrimental to business. A good sign that, along with phased in super and award rates, that business will not be forgotten under the new regime.
The Jolly Roger is a new Bar/Bistro that has opened up on Taylor's Rd. It has rejuvenated the old Garrison building and offers a night of pirate themed entertainment and wettles whilst you are entertained by the owner Matt Zarb http://www.mattzarb.com/show_dates/
Island Nectar in the Village – Traditional island food 9both raw and cooked), crate your own smoothies, juices, using seasonal produce, food baskets.
Mokeabout is a new car rental company that offers open topped mokes for hire on the island. They have a selection of colours at reasonable daily rates.
IBook Norfolk Tours have opened up in the old Whatawey Designs shop on Taylors Rd. They offer real estate tours for people interested in looking behind the hedges on Norfolk and thinking about investing in property.