Santa's little helper

AS Australians today mark their calendars and see Christmas just one month away, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has urged shoppers to think local and make this year’s Christmas a merry one indeed for Australia’s 2.1 million small businesses.

“In shops and neighbourhoods across Australia, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” Mr McCormack said.

“As we start planning for the festive season, buying gifts and groceries, now is the most important time to shop local and support small business.

“Estimates show Australians plan to spend around $50 billion in the six-week lead-up to Christmas with even more cash through tills as Boxing Day sales and tourist trade hits businesses across Australia.

“For many businesses, the festive season is the lifeblood which keeps shopfronts open, jobs local and services close to home for all of us.”

Mr McCormack praised the opportunity the festive season gives many young people, those in the casual workforce and businesses which are new or expanding, given the increased trade.

“So many young people get their start in retail trade because of the money we spend locally at Christmas time. So many businesses take risks and make investments because the dollars which flow this time of year make it possible. So many tourist operators, restaurants and other businesses make decisions to operate locally because of the opportunity our local multiplier effect can create for the local economy,” Mr McCormack said.

“I’m issuing a challenge to Australians this Christmas – think local and shop small.

“Through your support and the hard work of millions of Aussies and their small businesses, this can be a merry Christmas for local jobs and for our communities.”

Cristy Houghton