Fast Lane: Small business heroes should be celebrated for acts of kindness during bushfires

Eloise Keating /


Small business owner Alex Ng was among the many Australians whose Christmas and New Year period was affected by bushfires.

Ng owns the FoodWorks supermarket in the Victorian coastal town of Lorne, which was evacuated on Christmas Day as an intense bushfire burned in the nearby communities of Wye River and Separation Creek and claimed more than 100 homes.

Ng’s business provided supplies to emergency services personnel as the bushfire closed in on the area but when it came time for his family the evacuate the area, he simply handed over the keys to his business to help out.

“There was a big fire on Christmas Day and they [the firefighters] asked for some supplies. We delivered some to them,” Ng told radio station 3AW.

“In the late afternoon, we had to evacuate Lorne so we handed the key over to the local fire brigade to come in and help themselves. Whatever they need.”

The radio station gave Ng a $500 voucher to The Good Guys in recognition of his generosity, but he said he would donate the voucher to residents of Wye River.

Ng’s act of kindness is just one example of the important role local businesses play in their communities, particularly in times of hardship.

While his family was forced to leave their home, this small business owner was thinking of others.

There’s no doubt thousands of other small business owners like Ng around the country who go above and beyond to support their communities in times of need in the unique way that small businesses can.

These small business men and women are local heroes and should be celebrated. 

Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.