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Small businesses forgotten as big business grows stronger

Worrying statistics show that whilst big business has sailed through and out of the recent recession, small business seems to have and will continue to bear the brunt of the economic downturn.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the majority of new spending resulting from the government's stimulus packages went to big business, allowing for relatively strong growth over the past year, whilst the small independents have struggled with sales declines.

A recent article by Michael Baker, a global retail and property analyst and consultant, suggests that the independent retail sector has only managed three months of sales growth in the past year.  The retail chains have seen year-on-year growth of 8.2%, whilst the small indies have experienced a decline on 1.7% - this represents a 10% difference.

Baker says: "Small retailers are a vital but declining part of the fabric of our retail industry. Bad as some of them are, their presence is often the only thing that distinguishes one retail strip or shopping centre from another."

The indie's share of the retail sector has declined from 45% 15 years ago, to just 37% in the current year.  Not a particularly optimistic place to be for small business.

Make It Cheaper says: "When times are tough, customers buying habit shift, seemingly to the bigger brands who have deeper pockets to promote themselves, and created the perception that they are markedly cheaper than their smaller competitors.  In reality, the small indie's can be just as competitive in pricing terms, but consumers find it hard to figure this out."

"It's certainly a tough time for small business, but cutting down their expenditure on the core services such as electricity, telephone and insurance will free up a little bit of extra cash they can use to promote themselves and show the consumer how good they are."

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