The survey, which reflects actual performance for the December quarter and expected performance for the year ahead, shows that small businesses are pessimistic regarding most key measures of activity.
The survey indicates small businesses expect slides in profits, employment, overtime, investment and selling prices, while they expect rises in sales revenue, wages and other costs.
Kate Carnell, chief executive of the ACCI, said the survey also has important messages for policy makers.
“Our survey asked small businesses about the factors that were constraining them, and the results carry important messages for policy-makers. Small businesses identified business taxes and government charges as their biggest constraint, followed by insufficient demand, import competition and non-wage labour costs,” Ms Carnell said.
“If all levels of government can ease the burden on small businesses, those businesses will be better placed to prosper.”
The ACCI Small Business Survey covered the three months to December 2014 and had 1,416 respondents. Small businesses are defined as those having fewer than 20 employees.