This is according to the Australian Attitudes to Small Business Report commissioned by American Express as part of its national Shop Small campaign.
Bruce Bilson, Federal Minister for Small Business, visited once vibrant shopping precinct, Bridge Rd, Richmond, in Melbourne, to urge Australians t support small businesses.
“Bridge Rd was at its best when a diverse array of energetic small businesses competed with each other, delighting consumers and enticing them with variety, quality produce and great service” Bilson said.
“For consumers who value a broad range of options and the unique characteristics of a local shopping strip, it is important for them to support thriving and cherished high streets to ensure they don’t become a thing of the past. It is of our responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
The Shop Small campaign is also being supported by Australian milliner and small business owner, Melissa Jackson who says the campaign will remind Australians that if they value small businesses and want to see them thrive, they need to regularly shop there.
“Like a lot of people I went into my own business because I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted the freedom to create. Seeing these empty shops is upsetting because I know the hard work and passion that went into establishing them and the heartache that must have been felt when their dreams were dashed,” said Jackson.
“Hard work, passion and good old fashioned service only takes you so far; you need people to come through your door, which is why I’d love everyone to find a way to support your local shops.”
The report findings show that small business owners are implementing a raft of new strategies to ensure they remain competitive, with 41 per cent of investing in online or social media; 29 per cent price discounting; and 26 per cent increasing marketing and advertising, negotiating better deals with suppliers, and increasing products sold.
Other tactics being used by small businesses to survive include forming alliances with other businesses, investing in new technology, and opening longer hours.