The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson is urging shoppers to spend big with small businesses this weekend, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales predicted to smash records.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales (Friday 26 November – Monday 29 November) are expected to hit a record spend of $5.4 billion in stores and online.
Mr Billson said Aussie shoppers have an opportunity to sprinkle some festive magic on small and family businesses, after an incredibly challenging couple of years marred by the global pandemic.
“When you spend at a local small or family business, it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Mr Billson says.
“We know more than 40 cents in the dollar spent on small businesses flows back to the local community – that includes everything from wages to local residents, to sponsorships for local schools and sporting teams.
“By supporting small businesses, we are helping them to get back on their feet, in turn benefiting the community and the broader economy.
“It is particularly important to support our regional and remote small businesses, who have been heavily impacted as a result from recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Above all, it’s important for shoppers to be kindly customers who are patient, understanding and shop with good and generous intent. Small businesses are run by real people who deserve our respect and empathy.”
Given the increased volume of online sales expected in the lead-up to Christmas and predicted delays in delivery services, Mr Billson said shoppers should get in early to ensure their gifts arrive on time.
“If you are shopping online for gifts, as a growing number of people are doing – now is the time to start,” Mr Billson says.
“According to new research by the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan, Black Friday to Cyber Monday sales will likely drive a surge in retail sales, making this one of the final opportunities to shop for Christmas.
“I would urge all Aussie shoppers to consciously buy from a small business – whether that’s at a local bricks and mortar store such as buying your Christmas ham from the local butcher or by browsing the many unique offerings showcased by social media platforms such as “Click for Vic,” “Buy From the Bush,” “Empty Esky,” – to name a few.”
With online activity likely to ramp up this weekend, the threat of cyber-attacks on small businesses also increases.
“It is vital small businesses do what they can to protect themselves from cybercrime,” Mr Billson says.
“60% of all targeted cyber attacks have been on SMEs, costing more than $275,000 on average. Sadly two-thirds of those businesses close their doors within six months of falling victim to cybercrime.”
For more information on how best to protect your business from cybercrime visit the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s free online learning hub www.cyber.gov.au/learn