It is estimated that 98 per cent of the 2.4 million businesses in Australia are small businesses and family enterprises. Yet in September alone, business insolvencies rose by 11 per cent and defaults increased by 23 per cent.
Now, new research reveals nearly four in five Australian shoppers (79 per cent) will proactively support small businesses in their recovery in the next 12 months, by spending with them rather than with big businesses.
The findings were derived from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1002 Australians commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP). They were released in the lead-up to the popular November shopping events Black Friday (27th), Small Business Saturday (28th), and Cyber Monday (30th), which present a strong opportunity for consumers to support the small businesses participating in these events.
The survey reveals that consumers plan to not only shop small but shop local: 87 per cent said they will proactivity spend with local rather than global businesses in the next year to help with economic recovery in Australia.
CP also analysed the behavioural differences across the major states. In NSW, 90 per cent of consumers said they will spend with local businesses, and 81 per cent will proactively spend with small businesses over the next 12 months. The states’ economies were hit particularly hard this year. In NSW, State Final Demand – the total value of goods and services sold in a state – declined by 8.6 per cent.
In Victoria, the economy is set to shrink by $23.5 billion, compared with the pre-COVID-19 forecast, and it’s expected there will be 79,000 fewer jobs over the next five years. Eighty-five per cent of Victorians plan to shop locally and 77 per cent will shop with small businesses to help the state recover.
Queensland is facing an $8.1 billion deficit and the state government’s debt is set to rise to $101.9 billion by next June. A higher proportion of Queenslanders (87 per cent) will shop with local businesses over the next year, while 78 per cent plan to shop with small businesses.
Paul Roper, chief commercial officer at CP, says: “The lockdowns, social restrictions, closed borders, and travel bans have directly and indirectly impacted the majority of small businesses. The Australian public recognise that our economy is largely driven by SMEs. It is encouraging to see that they are willing to support Australia’s recovery by changing their own spending habits.
“This month’s popular shopping events Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday present multiple opportunities for the public to shift from purchasing from larger, global brands to shopping locally. Last year, Aussie shoppers spent nearly $4 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and, with this year’s significant and continuing increase in parcel volumes, online transactions show no signs of slowing down before Christmas.”
CP shares five ways Aussies can support local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic:
1. Choose local services and leave a tip. Where you can, choose services offered by small, independent businesses in your local area – from hair and beauty salons, to dental and medical treatments, to accounting and other professional services. Tips can also go a long way to helping small businesses. If you receive exceptional service, you could leave a tip to show your appreciation. Consider popping spare change into the tip jar at your local café.
2. Buy Australian-made products. Consider purchasing Australian-made and sourced products to help boost the local economy. Online marketplaces are also finding ways to encourage consumers to support local businesses. For example, eBay recently introduced an ‘Australian Made’ section on its platform, highlighting local products and retailers.
3. Buy from local retailers and brands. While online marketplaces and department stores stock small and local brands, shopping directly from the brands’ own online stores ensures more of your money goes to support them.
4. Purchase gift cards as Christmas gifts. A limited range of goods and small stock levels are a couple of the downsides of shopping at small, local and independent retailers.However, many stores offer gift cards. These make a great Christmas gift option for friends and family who live in the local area.
5. Show your support on social media. An indirect way of supporting local business is to follow their social media channels and subscribe to their enews. This enables you to share any of their promotions and new product drops through your own networks. This will help boost awareness of the brands and drive new customers to their stores.
6. Give extra love to Victoria. The extended lockdown was tough on small businesses in Victoria, and they need more support than ever as they work towards economic recovery. Consider seeking out Victorian-based businesses or purchasing Victorian-made products online. ‘Click for Vic’, a government initiative introduced at the height of the pandemic, showcases hundreds of Victorian businesses you can support.
Are you planning to support small businesses with the presents you are buying this Christmas? How do you plan to do this? What are some of your better gift ideas this year?
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