SELECTED CHARACTERISTICS OF AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS
This is the final release from the 2016-17 Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) and presents summary data for a selection of topics including:
- geographic markets in which businesses sold goods or services;
- business finance sought, reasons for seeking debt or equity finance;
- business innovation;
- changes to business performance and activity;
- barriers to innovative activity, skills used in undertaking core business activities, and;
- skills shortage or deficiency in undertaking core business activities.
Detailed information that underpins the tables, graphs and commentary below can be found via the Downloads tab.
Statistics included are additional to those outputs from the BCS released in Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2016-17
(cat. no. 8166.0) and Innovation in Australian Businesses, 2016-17
(cat. no. 8158.0).
All data relates to the 2016-17 reference period.
- Overall, 16% of businesses sought debt or equity finance. Of these, 89% obtained finance.
- The most common type of debt finance sought by businesses was a new capital/finance lease or hire purchase agreement (36%), followed by new loan with a term of more than one year (35%).
- Businesses reported the main reason for seeking debt or equity finance was to maintain short term cash flow or liquidity (41%), followed by finance sought to replace other equipment or machinery (30%).
BUSINESS USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
- Lack of access to additional funds was the most commonly reported barrier to the development or introduction of new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods (19%).
- Over half of innovation-active businesses reported a social media presence (59%), compared to less than a quarter of non-innovation active businesses (26%).
SELECTED INDUSTRY DATA
- 29% of non innovation-active businesses with 0 - 4 persons employed have a web presence, compared to 59% of innovation active businesses.
Detailed information on all industries can be found via the Downloads
- The Mining industry had the greatest proportion of businesses that used any skills in undertaking its core business activities (86%). Some of these skills included: engineering (44%), business management (42%), project management (39%), environmental management (26%), and scientific and research skills (19%).
- The Mining industry had the highest proportion of any collaborative arrangements (22%).
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
- Over half (57%) of the businesses in the Mining industry offered flexible working hours as a working arrangement.
- The Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the lowest proportion of businesses reporting any skills shortages (18%).
- This industry recorded the highest proportions of businesses reporting the cost of inputs (25%) and environmental factors (26%) as factors which significantly hampered the business in its general business activities or performance.
- Just under a third of businesses in this industry reported seeking debt or equity finance (28%), the most common type of additional debt finance sought was an increase in amount of existing credit facilities or limits (34%). Businesses within this industry also reported the highest proportion of any businesses utilising banks (87%) as a source of debt finance.
Information Media and Telecommunications
- This industry recorded the lowest proportions of businesses reporting a web presence (14%), social media presence (13%), and receiving orders via the internet (17%).
- The Information media and telecommunications industry recorded the highest proportion of businesses facing barriers in the introduction of new or significantly improved innovations (47%) with just over a quarter of businesses within this industry reporting lack of access to additional funds (27%) as a barrier they faced.
- The Information media and telecommunications industry also recorded the lowest proportion of businesses listing banks (53%) as a source of debt or equity financing.
- This industry recorded the largest proportion of businesses which stated the reason for seeking debt finance was to introduce new or improved goods, services processes or methods (14%).
- Businesses within this industry recorded the highest proportions of businesses operating overseas (29%) and outside of state/territory but within Australia (58%).
Further information about these and related statistics is available from the ABS website
or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.