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Support Small Business Day launched to boost battling Victorian business community

Melinda Oliver /

Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher has announced Support Small Business Day, a new initiative aimed at boosting small businesses.

Asher said Support Small Business Day, scheduled for Saturday October 19, will see the public encouraged to back their local small business community. The initiative is designed to boost small business revenues by increasing foot traffic to retail stores, cafes, restaurants and services.

For businesses owners, a Support Small Business Day workshop will run in September to aid them in maximising opportunities from the event. Event ambassadors, including Simon Crowe of Grill’d and Abigail Forsyth of KeepCup, will create video tutorials for business owners, sharing their expertise.

Local councils are being encouraged to support the initiative by promoting the day, hosting events in shopping precincts and creating special offers for consumers.

Councils can apply for Municipal Council grants of $5000 before August 12 to assist in raising awareness of the event, to help drive retail sales, increase retail employment and create sustainable retail precincts.

National Australia Bank, the event partner with the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, will fund $100,000 worth of consumer incentives and prizes for people who shop at participating businesses. This will include over 4000 eftpos cards that can be spent at participating businesses on the day.

The Support Small Business Day campaign will be officially launched on August 26.

Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director of policy Richard Clancy told SmartCompany this morning there is “great merit” in any project that focuses on the small business community.

“It is an important part of the economy,” he says. “It is timely because small business is doing it tough.

“Small business is often an opportunity for people to get their first job. It is very much a part of the fabric of local community.”

Clancy says in addition to events such as Support Small Business Day, VECCI also wants to see government at all levels be more “mindful” of the pressures placed on small businesses. Seeing the governments cut small business red tape and a simplification of the tax system are key to VECCI’s ongoing goals.

The announcement was made in a speech by Asher at the launch of Victoria’s Small Business Festival in Melbourne.

The festival is a month long program of workshops, seminars and networking events for businesses, held in various locations across the state.

“The Coalition Government is committed to the success of this annual event and in last year’s Budget committed $6.1 million over four years for ongoing support,” Asher said.

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