It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Australian small business owners, who are under immense stress due to the effects of bushfire, flood, drought and a global pandemic. According to a September 2020 COVID-19 Small and Medium Enterprise Tracker survey conducted by ACA Research and Fifth Quadrant (n=300), 65% of Australia’s small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are concerned about the survival of their business. Unsurprisingly concern remains the highest amongst Victorian SMEs, where 71% are concerned.
Small Business Australia’s mission is to fight for a simpler, fairer environment for small business owners, whose companies are responsible for 35% of Australia’s GDP and employ 44% of the country’s workforce.
That’s why we’ve launched the ‘Keep Well Buy Local’ movement, with the help of some of the country’s biggest organisations.
And this truly is a movement. Campaigns come and go. But this is the beginning of an ongoing effort built on the commitment of groups of all sizes working together across Australia. The support of the country’s most resourceful organisations will be one of the keys to rebuilding the small business sector.
Building a foundation
Behind the Keep Well Buy Local movement is Team Small Business Australia (SBA) – a collaboration with some of the largest small business service providers in the country; including foundation partner Australia Post, among others.
They know small business owners are the hearts and souls of their communities, and all Australians will need to work together to see those communities continue to thrive.
Together, we’ve developed a collection of free resources for small business owners, including:
- How to obtain more than $5,000 in business expense savings in key areas such as electricity, marketing, internet service, website creation and training.
- Video lessons from experienced experts on important business topics such as how to structure and grow your business, keys to improving sales through service delivery and social media tips.
- Tools like monthly cash flow and potential revenue calculators and templates for building buyer personas and sales funnels and more.
But we’re just getting started. One of the keys to sustaining momentum in any movement is continually adding new ideas and new resources. That’s where you and your organisation come in.
Do what you do best
Our foundation partners have helped us set up a great platform for Keep Well Buy Local, and we’re grateful to have the power of Australia Post behind us. Australia Post supports many Licensed Post Offices (LPO’s) which are owned and operated by small business owners. Particularly in regional areas, LPO’s support their communities by providing a range of important services, including logistics, identification and agency banking services.
And now we need to expand that reach. It’s time for organisations, like yours, to guide smaller businesses through challenging times and transition to the ‘new, new’ – because we’re a long way away from having any form of normality. What resources and solutions can your brand provide to help struggling business owners rebuild? How can you use your expertise to lead?
We also need all three levels of government to be more responsive when it comes to helping small businesses navigate this uncertain time. Our ongoing research can help shape funding policies that may directly lead to economic stimulation. For example, here are 10 government policies we think could make an immediate difference for struggling small businesses.
Aussies have shown they are willing to support struggling local small businesses. Responding to a July 2020 Australia Post consumer survey (n=2000), 33% of participants said they are making fewer overseas purchases in 2020 than they did last year. In the same survey, more than half of those who said they were making fewer overseas purchases said they were doing so because they instead wanted to support local businesses – and the Australian economy – more.
It’s our job to make it as easy as possible for them to do so – and to empower small local businesses to provide excellent customer experiences when they do.