Small and local? Get involved

BY Australian Retailers Association
25 November 2020

Small businesses account for a third of Australia’s economic output, employing millions of Australians and paying the wages of almost half of Australia’s workforce. Our small and local businesses have put in some of the hardest yards this year. We see you!

There are many campaigns SMBs can get involved in to get their name out there across the Christmas trading period and beyond We’ve found a few of the best. 

  • Support Small, an Afterpay initiative that celebrates the small business community

2020 has majorly affected the small business community all around Australia and customers are looking for ways to support local this holiday season. Afterpay launched their Support Small program to connect Afterpay customers and small business merchants. The program provides ongoing support by driving greater awareness and purchasing consideration for small businesses.

Afterpay amplifies small business merchants across their social channels weekly by showcasing what makes them unique - whether it's their original products, interesting back-stories or sustainable initiatives. On December 5 & 6 2020 Afterpay will also run a dedicated Support Small Sale. All Afterpay small businesses are invited to promote their participation in this two-day online and in-store shopping event through dedicated campaign assets.  

Not an Afterpay merchant? Sign up to Afterpay to get involved in their Support Small program.

  • Go Local Campaign - Federal Government Initiative 

The Go Local Campaign is funded by the Australian Federal Government and delivered by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA). The campaign encourages every Australian to back small businesses by purchasing goods or services from them either in person or online. As well as encouraging Australian consumers to get out there and spend more with small businesses, both online and in person, the campaign is also about encouraging small business owners to use other small businesses as suppliers. Get involved in the campaign here

  • Amex - Small Business Support 

American Express has a number of initiatives to help small businesses recover from this unprecedented year - including:

  • A Small Business Support Hub housed on offering support from well-known brands such eBay, Newscorp and Redballoon to help small businesses get back on their feet, including offers for small businesses.  
  • American Express Idea Exchange virtual masterclasses led by some of Australia’s most accomplished experts and entrepreneurs; giving small business owners the knowhow to drive their businesses forward.
  • An “Open for Business” map housed on, helping shoppers identify which businesses are trading.
  • A multimillion-dollar advertising and social media campaign to encourage consumers to Shop Small and provide exposure for a selection of amazing businesses from across the country featured in the campaign.
  • Complementary Shop Small ‘Back to Business’ merchandise, available for eligible American Express accepting businesses, to help encourage customers to Shop Small and to create a COVID-safe shopping experience.  Items will be distributed by American Express and include: hand sanitiser stations, decals to encourage contactless payments, alcohol wipes, social distancing floor markers and Shop Small signage. 

Learn more about Amex’s Shop Small campaign here

  • Spend With Them - Bushfire Affected Businesses 

NSW South Coast locals Turia Pitt and Grace McBride started Spend With Them on the 6th of January, an Instagram account featuring businesses in fire-affected areas. They were inspired by Buy From The Bush, which started last year to support companies affected by drought. Spend With Them was founded to support small businesses in bushfire affected communities, but with the soon to follow Covid-19 pandemic, we’re open to support any Australian small business that could use a helping hand during what has been an unbelievably tough year. Apply to be featured here

  • Small Business Australia - Team Small Business Australia – Keep Well and Buy Local 

Small Business Australia has come together with some of Australia’s leading brands that serve the small business of Australia to launch the ‘Keep Well and Buy Local’ initiative - encouraging all Australians to keep well, get out and online and support businesses by buying locally within their communities.

‘Team Small Business Australia’ founding partners are some of the largest service providers to the small businesses of Australia and include NAB, Australia Post, Telstra, design and printing business SNAP and Australia’s largest digital settlement platform PEXA. More information can be found here

  • State Government Support 

In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews launched Click for Vic earlier this year, more information about getting involved is available here.  

Business Queensland have Go Local, Grow Local, which aims to help Queensland businesses promote their products and services, and encourages Queenslanders to support small businesses in their community by shopping locally.

In Tasmania, Buy Something Tasmanian has been established to support local Tasmanian businesses. 

In June the ACT Government launched ‘Choose Local’, encouraging Camberran’s to support Canberra’s local economy. Click here for more information. 

Business SA’s ‘Buy Local to Save Local’ campaign is critical to the survival of many SMEs across South Australia, with many being forced to shut down in the wake of the outbreak. They are encouraging consumers to take a proactive approach to buying by purchasing from local businesses as often as possible.

In the Northern Territory, the Buy Local Plan gives local businesses greater opportunity to tender for and win government work. More information here

The NSW Government is supporting small and regional businesses with the Buy Regional campaign. Here you can find and buy special items directly, and make a difference for those most impacted by drought, bushfire and coronavirus – across rural and regional NSW. 

Western Australia has implemented a Buy Local Policy 2020, which contains a range of initiatives and price preferences that provide local businesses with an enhanced opportunity when bidding to supply to the Western Australian Government. More information here

  • Local Council 

Check your local council website to see what they offer in terms of small business support - many are running Christmas campaigns that you can get involved in. 

The NSW Government has published a great webpage giving councils advice about supporting buy local campaigns in their area. There are some great case studies and ideas there as well. If your local council doesn’t offer these as of yet, perhaps you could send them to this site and suggest they get involved in supporting small and local.  

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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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