Not only are small businesses full of great products and interesting concepts, they are also vital to economies around the world, and this is no different in Australia.
In 2019, a report done by the ASBFEO, showed that small businesses around Australia employed 44% of the Australian workforce and accounted for 33% of its GDP. This highlights the amount of small businesses around Australia, given that a small businesses is classified as 20 employees or less and the Australian workforce was circa 12 million people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Source of Local Economic Growth
Small Businesses are the heart of many communities. They provide economic growth, employment, social hubs and much more to their communities. The creation of these social hubs causes an on going effect on other local businesses in the area.
By purchasing with a small businesses, you are not just supporting the owner. You are also inadvertently supporting the wages of the staff that work there, the local wholesaler or distributor that supplies the business and the local landlord who owns the building. These funds then get regenerated, back into the community; the landlord buys from the local grocery story, the employees buy their coffee from the local cafe or shop at the local fashion boutique, so on and so forth.
Sense of Community
Despite the economic benefits, small businesses provide a sense of community. They remember your name, your usual coffee order, your families members name! I can't tell you the number of times I've gone to a cafe and after my third visit, they remember my name and my coffee order or the local bakery and they ask how my mother is doing after a conversation we had a week ago.
During the start of the pandemic and the course of the devastating bush fires, large corporations were making donations, which is an amazing gesture and nothing to turn your nose up to, but what touched my heart was the stories of small business owners, who had lost everything in the fires, still opening their shops to service the community.
One story that perfectly demonstrates this is that of Raj Gupta, who owns a pharmacy in Malua Bay. In early January, Raj lost his home to the fires, but despite this he continued to open his pharmacy to serve those in need of their medications. Without means for many to pay, due to power outages caused by the fires, Raj allowed his customers to continue to receive their medications, and pay for them at a later date, "We can't take payments, but that's not much of a concern" he told SBS News (you can read the full story here)
Why Small Businesses Are So Important
Aside from accounting for a huge percentage of GDP and employment, small businesses are important because they provide an alternative to the large corporations focused on creating the best profit margin. A small business runs on slim margins so that they can give their customers the best price for the best quality products, which is incredible when you think about the initial injection the owner had to outlay just to get the business up and running.
Looking at the shelves at the big supermarkets and retail chains like Kmart and Target, you can see just how many products are not Australian made (due to the manufacturing stops of Covid-19 overseas). Or, in comparison, how many times you've purchased from a large corporation and its broken within a week.
Small Businesses live and die by their customer service, product quality and reputation. You might have to pay a little more, but you can almost guarantee that you will receive the best customer service and that your products were made with quality materials!