Over the last several decades, small Australian local businesses have accounted for much less of our economic landscape. Recently, the market domination of large corporations has increased due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many independent businesses do not possess the capital or infrastructure to survive the pandemic—resulting in the rich getting even richer.
Large international businesses are especially prone to problems, such as inequality, exploitation and lack of diversity. Big businesses have a tendency to profiteer through their ‘low-cost thinking’ hierarchical structure. This leads to an overwhelming production of environmental waste/pollution, and likely has a negative effect on the quality of the product as well as the consumer’s wellbeing.
Small Business Benefits
In contrast, most small Australian local businesses don’t solely exist to make a profit—partly because there would be no competition. Rather, they often provide more freedom for their workers, with a more democratic (and sometimes even voluntary) workplace. In these businesses, genuine questions of organisational purpose commonly arise from within, and this freedom becomes the focus—allowing income to be allocated to the survival of the organisation’s true values.
Product quality is another aspect that often stands out about small businesses. They are able to produce useful commodities that are made by hand from sustainably sourced biodegradable materials that really last. This craftsmanship opposes the factory system, arguing that “without dignified, creative human occupation people become disconnected from life”—negatively affecting the utility and aesthetics of the product. Through supporting local businesses, you not only contribute to the diversity of local economic growth, but our deeper human need for products and a market/society shaped by our shared values.
We have created an Australian Made category on our website, to help Australian local businesses stand out. Below are some beautiful products that are locally and sustainably handmade.