Welcome to NSW Small Business Month, an initiative designed to celebrate Small Businesses, the backbone of our communities. Throughout October, small business owners are encouraged to step back from the day-to-day hustle and invest in their growth, focusing on essential areas like branding and marketing, cybersecurity, business health, ecommerce, current market conditions, resilience, and building strong, thriving teams.
In June 2023, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) released the Small Business Matters Report which incorporates a number of statistics to create a snapshop of Small Business in Australia.
98% of business in Australia are classified as small businesses, accounting for one-third of Australia’s GDP. The report shows that Australian small businesses employ 42% of all apprentices and trainees, almost double the amount supported by big business!
Interestingly, the average age of a small business owner has been steadily climbing, with nearly half of all small business owners being over the age of 50 and only 8% are aged under 30.
Running a small business can be hard and it is not always as rewarding as people might think. According to the report, around 43 per cent of small businesses failed to make a profit and 75% of small business owners take home less than the average wage.
In his media release, the Ombudsman, Bruce Bilson noted that "the spirit that drives people to run a small business also makes them great advocates for and contributors to their community and they are more likely than the general population to volunteer for an organisation or group"
All these facts are figures are easier to grasp by thinking about Australia as if it had 100 small businesses..............
5 Reasons to Support your local Small Businesses today
1. Boosting our Local Economy
Small businesses play a crucial role in keeping local economies thriving. When you spend your money at a small business, it sets in motion a cycle of financial support which keeps your local economy thriving. Your dollars are not only used to purchase products but also to pay the employees who work in these businesses, who in turn spend at other small businesses. Not forgetting that small business owners support other local businesses to purchase supplies, services and products, creating jobs and social benefits for your community.
2. Personalised service
Small businesses offer a unique service which you won't find in the chain stores or multi nationals. Many of these businesses are family owned and operated and their owners are passionate about offering you a friendly, more personalised service. They know their customers by name, understand their preferences, and can offer tailored recommendations.
This personal touch is what sets small businesses apart. It creates a sense of connection and loyalty between the business and the community, creating a pleasant shopping experience.
3. Environmentally aware
Shopping locally has environmental benefits as well. When you choose to shop local, you're minimising fuel emissions and reducing wear and tear on your vehicle. This not only saves you money on petrol and maintenance, but also contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable environment.
Small business owners know their customers well, and can tailor their buying and stock holding to meet their customer's specific needs. Products are chosen with care resulting in reduced waste for both them and you!
4. Caring for Community
Small business owners are not just business people; they live and work in your community, and their families are involved in local schools, sporting clubs, and community service groups. They take pride in being part of the community and are more than willing to provide sponsorship and support on a regular basis.
Think of small businesses as the heart of your town. They are the pulse that keeps the community alive. When you shop locally and help keep the central business district (CBD) vibrant, you enable these businesses to continue serving you.
A vibrant CBD doesn't just benefit the business owners; it benefits you by providing access to essential goods and services and creating a sense of place and identity in your community.
5. Wealth of Knowledge
Specialty store owners have a wealth of knowledge you can tap into absolutely free!! They are more than happy to offer advice so that you are purchasing exactly what you are looking for! And if they don't have it, chances are they can order it in for you!
This level of expertise and personalised service is something you won't find in larger chain stores. Small business owners take the time to understand your needs and preferences, making your shopping experience not just convenient but enjoyable.
By offering one-of-a-kind products that you won't find in chain stores, small business add character to your town, making it an interesting and diverse place to live. This creates a vibrant atmosphere that attracts visitors to your town. These visitors further stimulate the local economy further by buying food, accomodation and other goods and services, creating more job opportunities.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to this: your dollars spent at small businesses directly benefit your community.
When you choose to shop locally, you're not just making a purchase; you're making an investment in the well-being and future of your town.