Helping small business – an idea for Joondalup

Happy shopkeeperCollectively small businesses are the biggest source of employment in the country, but they are generally very badly represented politically.  Whilst the government recently tried to introduced some measures to boost them, most small businesses recognise the reality was that what was offered turned out to be not very much at all.  Having been a small business owner myself for 10 years, I know how tough it is out there, and how much small business is taken for granted, but given little in return from government either federal, state or local.  I think that needs to change.

Businesses need to make money to flourish.  Sure, they need to keep their costs down too, but more importantly they need to make more.  More customers is key.  Because successful businesses employ more people, and people who are employed have got more money in their pocket which they can then spend with (hopefully!) local businesses!

But right now small business needs a hand.  Of course we can’t change anything at a federal level to boost the economy, but at a local level there are definite options, one of which is to find a way to promote local businesses in order to help make the “City of Joondalup” more of a consumer destination.  The City of Perth is already doing it, and Subiaco has plans to do the same.  Isn’t it time for the council to do the same?

Of course we would need a theme.  Something that would attract consumers here, rather than somewhere else, and in this local businesses will need to get on board.  If Joondalup was “The Friendly City”, with businesses who sign up committing to find ways to improve the way that they help customers with a positive attitude (which they very much be doing already!), we have a brand and the basis for a campaign to encourage consumers to bring their custom to Joondalup rather than take it elsewhere.  Businesses who sign up will be promoted on a specific Joondalup business website which might be aimed at helping consumers plan their trip to Joondalup to tick a number of items off their purchase list.

Moreover encouraging business owners to get together and share promotion ideas with other local businesses and the council, can only be of benefit.  We can work with the University and our other training institutions to bring in specialists to generate ideas for better promotion or other areas where local business needs help.

Finally, I’d like to establish a database of lease rates for as many of the businesses who lease rather than own their own premises.  I’ve had leasing agents trying to increase my rent far greater than a true rent survey would have determined, but fortunately my immediate neighbouring businesses shared their rental costs with me and I was able to negotiate a much fairer rate.  I was lucky.   But businesses thrive when they are surrounded by other thriving businesses.  If you are surrounded by empty premises, it is going to be a much bigger struggle.

If you want to support small business.  Remember who to vote for!

About Steve Laing

Political observer, free thinker and problem solver, Steve contends that the current democratic processes have neither kept up to date with globalisation nor modern business practices, resulting in increasing dissatisfaction with modern politics. However, new technology could be used to not only reconfigure our system, but give the electorate even greater representation than was previously the case. For more background information on Steve, please check his LinkedIn profile.

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