The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has urged the Coalition and Labor to take heed of the vote influencing significance of giving small business a fairer go when it comes to competing with the major chains.
“Small business is invariably trumpeted as the backbone of the economy every time an election comes round, as the major issues facing small business operators and their employees are predictably elevated in public conversation by politicians eager for votes,” said AACS CEO Jeff Rogut. “Now it’s time to walk the talk.”
He also noted, “Convenience stores are pillars of the local communities they serve and as customers make a trip to our stores part of their daily routines, we are also a barometer for consumer sentiment in many ways. And our customers typically agree that the issues affecting small business deserve greater recognition.”
SMR Global recently investigated the attitudes and opinions of consumers of voting age on a range of key issues affecting the convenience industry in Australia, including the legalisation of e-cigarettes, the illicit trade of tobacco and permitting convenience stores to sell packaged alcohol.
The findings are found to be “compelling” – especially in terms of the potential for these issues to influence people’s votes:
Rogut said the findings show that average hard-working Australians want a fairer go for small businesses. “There is a groundswell of support for real measures that promote a more level playing field so small businesses like convenience stores can more effectively compete with the larger supermarket chains,” he noted. “If small business is the key battleground on which this election will be won and lost, as both parties have acknowledged, then it’s time for actions to usurp words and for politicians to commit to working with industry to advance some of the policy areas that are holding small businesses like convenience stores back from reaching their full potential.”
Some of the key areas the AACS is pushing for reform in include:
While these issues cross State and Federal lines in terms of Government responsibility, the AACS believes a coordinated effort from Governments at all levels is necessary to provide the proper support small businesses need.