In Part 1 we read about how shopping centre precincts have often become one of the major driver’s for community hubs or Living Centres. We also read how with the COVID challenges of reduced income, job losses, reduced business contracts, closure of small businesses, that to be customer focused by providing living centres is no longer enough. To be customer obsessed must be about working with the wider community especially the wider business community and local government to support the small business sector as the number one employer of shoppers and rate payers / residents. This will benefit the corporates as once again the locals become shoppers and thus increase the bottom line of profits. In Part 2, we will explain this further in terms of Collaboration, Vision and Winsome advantage Outcomes.
Small business in Australia prior to COVID employed 44% of the working age population, then add medium size enterprises and that accounts for 68%. So, to support society in general we must support the sector that supports the people in our society, that is we must support our local businesses. As locals we know one way to do this is to shop local. This is one side benefit of the virus restrictions particularly during various levels of shutdown, we were in some ways forced to buy local. In Part 1, we also mentioned that we must come together with the various sectors of society such as Arts and Entertainment, Education Sector, community policing, etc to identify a Vision that we as a community want to work toward. If you haven’t read Part 1, I encourage you to do that before you continue.
Once the stakeholder group/s have come up with a multilayered Vision, then Collaboration is required to identify say 3 – 4 goals over the first stage, say over a 12 month period. To create the WINSOME advantage outcomes, there needs to be Strategic Social Enterprise (SSE) benefits:
“So win -win – win – win … all stakeholders win:
W – Wider Community or World
I – Inventors and Investors
N – Network of Consumers and Suppliers
S – Staff
O – Owner/s
M – Management
E – Environment and Entrepreneurs”
As we increase the benefits for the various groups, it also increases the bottom line profits for the bigger players like the property development companies by increased occupancy of commercial and retail space.
In the Imagineering 2 a Better World or Social Enterprise Evolve (SEE) your way to a better world paradigm, one key way to support local business in the medium to longer term is by working with an organisation which could be a not for profit, say the local business chamber, and the local government authority. This could be by funding a more independent position within either council and/or the local business chamber whose job it is to engage the wider community and support local businesses such as with the attraction and retention of small – medium size enterprises (SME’s). Funding models may be that the salary of a full-time position subsidised by corporate/s who stand to benefit the most, as well as local and state governments and may also include, if in the chamber instance, a nominal amount covered by members toward that salary. Numerous economic development strategies could be employed. Additionally, if the area has certain issues such as high crime or youth unemployment, high rate of homelessness for older women, particular collaborative projects could be considered to assist SME’s to train and/or employ individuals from these target groups and/or mentor micro or small business opportunities.
As a starter some unoccupied retail and/or commercial space could be set aside for local small business and artists. Small business seminars could run from that location at subsidised prices for those recipients.
It is time for a new fresh Vision for our communities and this must be based on Collaboration across the various sectors of the community, starting with the agreed upon WINSOME Advantage Outcomes and detailed plan to get there.
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To see how we can help you, contact us. In the initial stages it may be via hosting an Imagineering 2 a Better World think tank session with key stakeholders, then it could be working with you to create a detailed SMART plan to achieve your vision and goal/s. Consulting is also available to come alongside your organisation to completion of the multilayered vision.