Web_m124114THE hope is that ‘Support Small Business Day’ will eventually become a big celebration of what really makes this country tick. But, as the name suggests, Victoria’s first-ever Support Small Business Day, on Saturday, October 19, is likely to start out small!

An initiative of the Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Louise Asher, it has already attracted the interest and support of the Bass Coast Shire, which applied for and received $5000 to run supportive events locally, and both the customers of small businesses and their operators and staff stand to benefit. “We thought it had a lot of merit and is right in line with what we are trying to do anyway – promoting and encouraging local business,” said Economic Development Manager at the Bass Coast Shire, Peter Francis. “I’ve already been out speaking to our main business and tourism partnership groups at Grantville, San Remo, PITBA on Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Inverloch about this and we’ve come up with a few initiatives which we hope will raise the profile of small business and help generate some extra business at what is probably going to be a reasonably busy time for most people anyway. “It’s Phillip Island Grand Prix weekend but we thought we’d take the offered opportunity to promote small business anyway.”

Win $200 prizes
Through the State Government’s allocation of $5000 the shire is funding a fun competition for business operators and their customers with $2000 in cash up for grabs. For the business people, all they’ve got to do is take ‘selfies’ of themselves, their staff or both together with customers on Small Business Day, Saturday, October 19 and send them in to business@basscoast.vic.gov.au. All their customers have to do is fill out a Support Small Business Day coupon at one of the participating businesses (or taken from next week’s Sentinel-Times). The prize draw will be held on Friday, November 1, so make sure you have your entry in by then. There are 5 x $200 cash prizes for the businesses and 5 x $200 cash prizes for the customers as well. Support Small Business Day is a Victorian Government initiative to increase the competitiveness of small businesses and recognise their valuable contribution to our community. It’s an opportunity for Victorians to reconnect with the small businesses that make our community great and support those who own and operate them. On Saturday, October 19, retailers, cafés, restaurants and service providers across Victoria will celebrate with one-day events and special promotions.

Principal Partner, the National Australia Bank (NAB) is also offering $100,000 worth of shopper incentives, including more than 4000 NAB Support Small Business Day Gift Cards redeemable at participating businesses on the day. Look for details in this week’s Sentinel-Times for information on how you can get a $20 gift card for free with $10,000 worth of NAB cards available through this offer negotiated by your local newspaper. To get involved, check out the Support Small Business Day website. Shoppers can nominate their favourite small business and can get access to win eftpos cards to spend at participating businesses on the day. Retailers can sign up to Support Small Business Day and receive exclusive content and videos, have access to workshops about how to get the most out of the day and also link into Business Victoria workshops and seminars. For further information, visit www.supportsmallbusinessday.com.au. Look for all the information about getting involved in next week’s edition. You can also go to www.supportsmallbusinessday.com.au where you can register as a shopper or a business and see what other benefits are on offer.