Australia Post expands program to support ‘superstar’ small businesses

Australia Post has just launched this year’s edition of its long-running Local Business Heroes programme, which has now been expanded to support 57 to 100 small Australian online businesses who will share a total prize pool worth around US$500,000.

The expanded program is Australia Post’s way of providing more support to small businesses, which have been hit hard by rising inflation and interest rates over the past year, as well as consumer confidence, which is in negative territory.

Successful applicants will each receive a $5,000 Heroes Pack packed with a selection of support, products and services to help them grow and market their business.

Applications are possible until Sunday, March 12, 2023, the recipients will be announced in June 2023. Applications are open to any small business that sells products online and is an existing Australia Post customer.

Gary Starr, Australia Post’s executive general manager, Parcel Post & eCommerce Services, said this year’s prize pool of around $500,000 would provide crucial support as small businesses grapple with a number of headwinds.

“Small businesses are the beating heart of our local economy and we are proud to support their growth and success through the Local Business Heroes program,” said Starr. “The Local Business Heroes program not only puts these important operators in the spotlight, but also helps them succeed through coaching, marketing and technology support. We’re excited to be able to increase the number of recipients so we can reward more companies for the great work they do every day and help them navigate 2023.”

One of last year’s winners was wooden toy retailer Cool Guppy, which has benefited from increased visibility and a range of hands-on business support to keep it growing. Encouraging small businesses to apply this year, Cool Guppy owner Adrian Law (pictured) said: “It was incredible to receive the recognition last year and I was very proud to be one of the winners . The initiative has been a wonderful motivator to ensure I continue to believe in my business and work hard at it.”

Australia Post has also redesigned the Heroes Package this year, giving winners a choice of five options out of a total of eight. The eight options are in four main categories: Marketing, Shipping (packaging and shipping), Stay connected, and Business Coaching.

According to Australia Post, the goal is to provide support to local business owners where they need it most – whether that’s reaching new customers through in-store advertising and localized postal advertising, assistance with streamlining parcel operations or one-on-one coaching sessions and basic work-from-home technology. Australia Post expands program to support ‘superstar’ small businesses

Adam Bradshaw

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