Australian small
businesses are
Keeping it in
the Community.

American Express has commissioned research exploring the continuing importance of Australian small businesses to the wider economy, but also to their local communities.

We explore the environment for small businesses in Australia and the impact of keeping the dollar in the community – how it enables a suburb to thrive financially and culturally, and connects small businesses with other small businesses.

Small by name,
big by business

Small businesses are the
heartbeat of the Australian
economy, with over
2.1 million nationwide.

For every 100 businesses, 97 are small. We classify ‘small’ as businesses with less than 20 employees and a turnover of less than $2 million.

The number of small businesses in Australia has increased over the past few years.

The custom
conundrum continues

Over half of consumers say if given a choice, they prefer to buy from small businesses rather than larger ones.

However, just 29% claim to have increased their shopping frequency with small independents in the past year, compared to 37% the year previous.

Despite this, the outlook for small
businesses is positive:
43% of small businesses have increased their turnover in the past year.

82%
of small business owners expect they’ll still be running their small business in 12 months’ time.

financial_concerns

More owners are worried about managing costs than they are about growing their businesses.

The biggest concerns are increasing energy prices and increasing costs/overheads.

Last year’s top concerns were attracting new customers and retaining existing customers.

Keeping it in
the Community

Both small businesses and consumers believe that small business are an integral part of the fabric of their communities.

47% of Aussies
say small businesses define their community.

25% of small business owners
say that ‘community feel’ attracted them to the area in the first place.

Small business owners are active supporters of their communities and the people within it.

70% encourage consumers to support other small businesses.

73% provide employment for local residents.

78% donate money, supplies or services to local charities.

Two thirds of Aussies would choose a small business if it supports the local community and employs local residents.