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Why small businesses need to be applauded

Bruce Billson, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, is calling on the community to join him today in saying a big thank you to the women and men running our small and family businesses.

Mr Billson said World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day (June 27) was the perfect chance to applaud the contribution small businesses make to our country.

Mr Billson launched an MSME video of community leaders giving thanks to small business and encouraged people to show their own support.

“These are great people in plain sight, and we see them everywhere, every day,” he said.

ABF media

“When you stop and think about it, we depend so heavily on the small and family-run businesses in our lives – whether it is the local café, pharmacy, accountant, builder, mechanic or grocer who are conveniently there when you need them.”

“The best way to support small businesses is to be a kindly customer – patient and understanding, with good and generous intent. Small businesses are run by real people who deserve our respect and empathy every day.”

Globally, the United Nations has marked June 27 as MSME Day to raise awareness of the contribution of small businesses to sustainable development and the global economy.

Small businesses provide employment for more than five million Australians – two out of every five people with a private sector job work in a small business.

Small business contributes $483 billion to the economy each year.

ABF media

About 38 per cent of small businesses are owned by women and in recent years two-thirds of all new businesses have been led by women who are finding solutions to everyday problems, sharing their ideas and building a business from their ingenuity.

“Small business is a dynamic and fast-growing sector that allows people with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their dreams,” Mr Billson said.

“We should do more to celebrate the vital and deeply personal commitment made by more than 2.3 million small and family businesses to our community.”

“Small business people take on a big and often stressful responsibility. It is not just an enterprise but their life – often their home and mortgage, family and identity are all tied together.”

Mr Billson said the past two years had been particularly hard for small businesses who faced not just shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic, but a series of rolling disasters such as devastating bushfires, ongoing drought conditions and record-breaking flooding in various parts of the country.

Australia Asia Forum

“Now small businesses have to navigate crushing supply chain disruptions and leaping input costs, soaring energy bills, higher wage costs and a chronic labour shortage just to keep their doors open and serve their communities,” he said.

Mr Billson also urged small business owners and leaders to not overlook their own mental health during such difficult times.

“This can feel unrelenting and it is vitally important those running a small business look after their emotional well-being and mental health,” he said.

“Sometimes it can be as simple as making time to pause, reflect and reconnect. Talking to trusted advisers and networks is a great way to find solutions. Our website www.asbfeo.gov.au and the My Business Health portal have useful tools and resources.”

Source: ASBFEO

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