Australian small businesses have made financial gains this year but continue to struggle with consumer perception that they're gradually dying off. As such, consumers are flocking to shop with bigger companies, according to new research. Read on to find out more.
American Express recently commissioned a survey into how small businesses are tracking this year and how consumers perceive them. Small business in this survey include bricks-and-mortar stores, digital start-ups and online-based stores. The study showed that while consumers said they value small businesses, they're not putting their money where their mouth is.
Around 78% of respondents said small businesses have had a positive impact on their lives but only 37% increased the number of times they've shopped with them in the last 12 months. Yet, 61% have increased spending with large businesses. One in five respondents decreased the number of trips they made to small businesses in the last 12 months, while less than 1 in 12 reduced their number of trips to large outlets.
It could be that consumers see small business as a dying sector. According to the survey, 83% of consumers believe small businesses shut down faster and 71% said there appear to be fewer small businesses around. But 85% of small businesses have reported that they are in a better or similar financial situation as they were last year. One in five Australians are also looking to set up their own company.
"With more than 2.1 million small businesses employing more than five million Australians, the sector accounts for 97 per cent of all Australian businesses. It just makes good sense to have a thriving small business scene in our country and to ensure Governments, consumers and Australians support it as best we can," Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said.
American Express vice-president for small merchant Katrina Konstas:
"We all have a stake in their success, whether it's preserving a sense of community or providing a family member or friend with employment. Investing in their future is investing in your own and Australia’s, whether you want to run your own small business, work in one, or shop at many."