Small businesses need the nation to mobilise behind them more than ever before.

That’s the word from Mike Anderson, founder and CEO of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC), who says the role that small businesses play in job creation, poverty alleviation, service delivery, and wealth creation means that small business is big business.

“Nearly two thirds of all South African workers are employed by small businesses,” says Anderson. “Small businesses also contribute a significant portion of our country’s gross domestic product, which is why we’re encouraging the people of South Africa, big business and to lend their support.

“Small businesses are key to unlocking economic opportunities and achieving inclusive growth, adding that South Africa’s high rate of unemployment call for bold and far-sighted interventions,” he adds.

One out of five units exported from South Africa is produced in the small and medium business sector, adding even more weight to the argument that small businesses are the mainstay of the South African economy, and need greater support from government, the public sector and, of course, ordinary South Africans.

“Making a small change to where we spend our money can have a huge impact on small businesses, our communities and ultimately our economy,” says Anderson.

“The advantages of supporting small businesses lie not only in making an impact on the economy, but also the positive difference it can make in uplifting local communities. Locally owned businesses help shape strong communities by keeping vital spend within small towns and cities, leading to vibrant local economies that benefit all who live there.

“There are plenty of advantages for consumers too, very often small businesses care deeply about the kind of customer service they deliver; knowing that quality products and personalised service is what keeps their business thriving.”

Small businesses across South Africa must be firmly in the spotlight, by encouraging the nation to support, visit and spend at a small business, he says.

With more support, small businesses have the potential to breathe new life into the South African economy and play an even bigger role in economic growth and job creation.

“Small businesses represent countless hours of hard work, commitment, resilience and thousands of jobs,” Anderson says. “When South Africans support the ‘small’, they make a big impact. Providing as much support to small businesses as possible is an investment in our communities and South Africa’s collective economic future.

He adds that the Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to bring about permanent change in the hearts of all South Africans.

“We want to encourage everyone in our country to support their local small businesses all day every day throughout the year. So, when you shop online or go out to shop, please make that all-important choice, support your local independent small businesses.”