More than one in four small businesses in construction are delaying expansion plans on account of the federal election, the latest survey has found.
In the most recent edition of its Small Business Report compiled with assistance from Deloitte, Westpac surveyed 500 small and medium sized enterprises throughout Australia about issues ranging from the upcoming federal election, current business conditions and the forward business outlook.
In respect of builders and construction related enterprises, it found that a significant proportion of those surveyed were putting off investment, hiring and technology upgrades until after the election.
All up, 27 percent of construction businesses indicated that they are likely to delay the purchase of new equipment until after the election.
Meanwhile, 21 percent and 15 percent are waiting until after the election to hire more staff and introduce or upgrade new digital systems respectively.
As well, many builders feel that their concerns are not well understood by politicians.
All up, 37 percent of construction SMEs say their local MP at a federal level has little understand of issues facing them as a small business owner.
This comes as construction SMEs remain moderately optimistic about the forward outlook notwithstanding the slowdown in home building and apartment construction.
Compared to this time last year, half of all SMEs in construction report higher levels of income whilst 48 percent reported a decrease in income
Going forward, 56 percent expect income to increase in 2019.
The concern about the election in construction reflects broader uncertainties surrounding the election among businesses as a whole.
Across all industries, the report found that 50 percent were worried or uncertain about the impact which election policies will have on their operations.