President's Report by Veronica Lind at AGM August 2022
Covid, floods, rising interest rates, inflation - what more can one ask for?
Business confidence has dropped. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, business conditions and sentiments continue to be tough with a third of employing businesses having difficulty finding suitable staff; nearly half of all businesses experienced increases in their operating expenses; nearly 47% faced supply chain disruptions. This is the same picture I saw when I travelled two months to Europe. They had an extra thing to worry about - War.
Business networks across the country were not spared. Some see decrease in memberships and/or revenue. The Micro Business Forum is not spared. Memberships had decreased from 45 in the previous year to 26 now. Luckily our expenses are low so we still have good money in the bank.
Several of our members took this “downturn” as opportunities to hibernate, retire or seek jobs.
Enough of this gloomy outlook.
I am a believer in looking for opportunities in the midst of crises. My clients and I who have that same spirit continue to thrive. I said last year that businesses have to find clever ways to grow.
During MBF’s June committee meeting, I asked if MBF should fold or hold and the decision is to try to change some things to continue to support micro businesses. There are new businesses being set up during the COVID period especially at a time when people were losing their jobs, so MBF wants to be there for them.
We did a survey. Had 28 responses out of which 29% were non-MBF members and 12 were involved in our Think Tank discussion which we held on 1st July. This was indicative of the interest they have with MBF.
I will share some of the fast-start actions the Think Tank team had called out at the later part of this meeting.
Now who is going to drive these fast-start actions? The new MBF committee of 2022-2023 which we will announce in a minute.
What have we achieved?
Two years now and the committee has become very adept with the technologies that we had adopted to run MBF more effectively.
I have recently created an app called JOIN MBF which anyone can download using this link https://www.jotform.com/app/mbf/join-mbf The app allows you to view and register for the next MBF event, apply and pay for membership, call or email MBF.