02/07/2015 - 12:26

July 11 named WA’s first small business day

02/07/2015 - 12:26

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Western Australia is set to celebrate its first small business day after a group of volunteers decided it was time to recognise the contribution of the more than 210,000 small businesses that operate in the state.

(L-R) Rural Regional Remote Women’s Network chair Maree Gooch, REIWA president David Airey, Small Business Matters co-founder Nicolle Jenkins. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Western Australia is set to celebrate its first small business day after a group of volunteers decided it was time to recognise the contribution of the more than 210,000 small businesses that operate in the state.

Co-founders of Small Business Matters, The Hub Marketing Communications managing director Nicolle Jenkins and Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia chief executive Kitty Prodonovich said by naming Saturday July 11 WA’s first small business day they had catalysed a movement.

124 peak industry associations representing small businesses, including 42 regional chambers of commerce and industry have backed the initiative which encourages small businesses to celebrate the day and for others to buy something from a small business.

“It really does create a big difference. If we spend $10 extra a week in a local small business we actually generate more than $1 billion worth to the WA economy. That’s got to be good,” Ms Jenkins said.

Rural Regional Remote Women’s Network chair Maree Gooch said she hoped celebrating small business day on July 11 would also bring more attention to the growing number of women who own a business in WA and the importance of diverse regional small businesses.

She said the rural women’s network she chaired, which has about 7,000 members, had members who made up just some of the 63,000 women who own a small business in WA, a figure that has grown by nearly nine per cent in the last five years.

Ms Jenkins said since being inspired to set up the initiative which exists in other Australian states and the US, she had received significant support.

“Small businesses constantly fly under the radar because we are spread across WA. We operate across all industries and are out there getting the job done. Due to this diversity we often don’t have a united voice,” she said.

 “We’ve had amazing support from more than 120 member based organisations throughout the state, which is amazing. We’ve really relied on them to communicate to their members all the key messages ... to increase the profile and awareness of the small business sector in WA, to celebrate and recognise the entrepreneurial spirit in WA and also let’s think small first on the 11th of July.”

Ms Jenkins said with the support of sponsors Advance Press, Lush Digital Media, Backlot Studio, Toucan Display Solutions and her own business, the Small Business Matters website had attracted a lot of attention from businesses keen to be involved.

“We’ve all done this in a volunteer capacity, so we’ve had a massive budget of, I think it’s $150, so it’s been fantastic and they’re all medium to small enterprises which is fantastic because it really does show when we need to we all come together to really sell a message,” she said.

In a separate announcement made this week Small Business Minister Joe Francis said the state government had allocated $10.7 million to be spent over the next three years on a new advisory service for small businesses called Business Local.

The service, which replaces the small business centre network, will provide advice and guidance for owners of existing and start-up small businesses.

Mr Francis said the Business Local service was the result of recommendations gleaned from a 2014 review that led government to recognise it needed to provide more streamlined services, better targetted to the needs of WA small businesses.

Business Local services will operate out of 12 regions through a number of local service providers.

Perth’s east, north and south metropolitan regions as well as the Peel region will be serviced by Business Station Inc.

The Gascoyne, Mid-West, Wheatbelt and Pilbara regions will be serviced by RSM Bird Cameron.

The Great Southern and the South-West regions will be serviced by the Small Business Centre.

The Goldfields-Esperance region will be serviced by the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

 

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