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Oatley Electorate Small Businesses

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-136815

Hansard session: Fifty-Eighth Parliament, First Session (58-1)

Oatley Electorate Small Businesses

Mr MARK COURE (Oatley) (17:04:56):

Small Business Month, which runs throughout October, is a great time of the year. It is a time to celebrate not only our local businesses but also the business owners and staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes. From hair salons to breweries, we are privileged to host an array of fantastic businesses throughout my local community that provide outstanding services. Not only do small businesses create employment opportunities for thousands in the area, but they also contribute to a thriving local economy. The theme of this year's Small Business Month is "My Small Business". The aim is to provide tips and tricks for business owners across the State in seven key areas and resources are readily available for businesses to develop their skills, including branding and marketing, cybersecurity, business health, e-commerce, current market conditions, resilience and teams.

This year I have been promoting local small businesses on my social media platform, rallying members of my community to get out and try something new and different. I have had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people, whilst also reconnecting with some old friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with all of the wonderful business owners, as we shared the small victories, the struggles and everything in between. Each and every single business owner I have met is incredibly passionate about their business and their community. From Eat GRK in Beverly Hills to Oatley Chinese and Malaysian Restaurant, Crust and Cream in Riverwood, Sugarsalt Espresso in Mortdale, and Cup and Cook in Kyle Bay, we are truly spoilt for choice.

New businesses are popping up all the time and they continue to shape the character of our local area. Small businesses have always held a special place in my heart. Whether it is a favourite lunch spot that already knows your order off by heart or the barber who you can have a chat with each and every time you visit, personalised service is so important to their success. I completely understand the struggles and challenges of small businesses. Sustaining a small business is no easy feat. Owners have to manage staffing and finances, while also ensuring that their business is running to the best possible standard. This often leads to sleepless nights and late hours. I particularly acknowledge business owners and their staff. Their work often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. However, what they do for our communities is second to none.

Small businesses employ 1.8 million people in New South Wales and account for 45 per cent of the private sector workforce. The sector also contributes over $66.6 billion in annual wages and salaries to employees each and every year. However, small businesses support more than just our local community. For example, coffee shops provide spaces for friends and families to meet and catch up together over a meal; many local hotels provide a refuge for those going through difficult circumstances; and accountants and tax agents take the pressures off households. That allows people to spend more time with their family. It is also important to continue to support small businesses whenever we can, whilst also ensuring that our Government continues to invest in the skills that New South Wales needs to grow.

Amidst the current cost-of-living crisis, it is now more important than ever to lend an ear to small business owners, while learning how to support them in these challenging times. I encourage everyone to get out and support small businesses this October—whether it be buying a bacon and egg roll at your favourite local coffee shop on a Saturday morning or taking the family out to try something new. Every dollar spent at a small business makes an enormous impact. In doing so, we play an important part in promoting the small businesses that make our local community special. Together, we can make this October a month of support and celebration for our unsung local heroes: local small businesses.

Women also account for over one‑third of Australian small business owners. That number has grown by more than 24 per cent over the past five years. I encourage everyone in my community who is thinking of starting a small business to give it a shot. They can visit the Service NSW website, which has detailed instructions on the steps to take to ensure their business is a successful one. Once more, I say a special thankyou to all our local small business owners and their staff. Their contributions to our community are strong, powerful and invaluable. I look forward to supporting their businesses and seeing them thrive well into the future.