Now that Australia has shown its strong support for same sex marriage, as evidenced by the recent postal survey results, and legislation is imminent, small business can look forward to a windfall.
Kate Carnell, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, believes the change can only be good news for a plethora of small businesses including accommodation providers, florists, caterers and cake makers.
“I have attended two same sex marriage ceremonies involving Australian couples in New Zealand in recent years,” Carnell told Inside Small Business. “As soon as the legislation is passed, all the money that was spent over there can now go to Aussie small businesses.
“I expect there will be an immediate boost for all the small businesses that provide services for weddings as there is now likely to be a wave of same sex marriage ceremonies in Australia.”
Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small Business Australia is equally upbeat about the prospects for SMEs.
“This is about business,” Strong told us. “Many small businesses will find work as a result of this decision. For us this is not about same sex marriage, it is about business.”
Tim Reed, CEO, of MYOB, said to us late last week, “The outcome of the marriage equality vote was quite extraordinary, and it is clear the government has a mandate to implement legislation actioning the result.
The impact for small business will be significant. We know that the wedding industry in Australia is a multi-billion-dollar sector. Estimates conducted recently have indicated that if same sex marriage was legalised, the impact on the economy could mean a boost of up to $2bn over the first five years.
Marriage equality is good for our employees, good for our customers and overall good for the economy. Not only is marriage equality great for our society, it provides a significant boost to small businesses that support the wedding industry.”
John Allan, Chief Executive Officer of Sensis, said that research his organisation commissioned in August underlines the positive impact business leaders think same sex marriage legislation will have on the economic outlook for the nation.
“The survey found that Aussie businesses support changes to marriage equality laws. Almost nine in 10 think changing the law would have either a positive or neutral impact on their business, with only two percent concerned.
“In fact, more than five times as many businesses support marriage equality changes as those who are opposed. Only 10 percent of businesses now oppose change, which is the lowest number we have seen since the survey started in 2015. Of those business owners who support change, the key reasons were wanting equality and a view that all people should have the same freedoms.
“Sensis is one of almost 1500 Australian corporates to have pledged its support for changing marriage laws to allow same sex couples to marry. We support change as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We believe our business is strengthened every day by the unique talents of our people, regardless of their background.”