ENP Newswire - 20 January 2014 Release date- 20012014 - 9 out of 10 Australians are loyal to their 'corner shop' and almost half (49%) of them will buy from a local small business to help strengthen the nation's economy, according to the second annual Westpac Australia Day Index, released today. With Aussie patriotism economically and emotionally driven, the report found that consumers are especially loyal to their local grocery stores (39%) and pharmacies (37%), followed by restaurants (21%), bakeries (20%) and butchers (20%). 'It's great to see 9 in 10 Australians are loyal to small business and nearly half (45%) are spending more with local suppliers than 12 months ago. We hope this support continues, especially in the lead up to Australia Day,' said Gai McGrath , General Manager Retail Banking, Westpac . The majority (71%) of Australians buy locally as they believe it supports their community and 2 in 3 (68%) would feel like they had lost part of their local community if a small business closed down in their area. ' Westpac , along with more than half (58%) of Australians, believe small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Australia Day is a time of reflection for many on what makes up the fabric of our community and local businesses are an integral part of every neighbourhood. It's positive to see Australians value their essential role in both our local and national economies.' The report found the top way (50%) Australians show support for local businesses, in addition to shopping with them, is to recommend them to friends, family and colleagues. Westpac has 640,000 small business customers who are supported by a network of more than 600 local business bankers across 680 branches, and has had the highest business banking satisfaction levels of the big 4 banks (68.5%) since August 2011 (Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, September 2013). Key Findings - 2014 Westpac Australia Day Index Small Businesses in Australia ?Almost half (49%) of Australians believe buying from local, Australian businesses is the most important thing they can do to support the economy, far in front of the second most popular response of 'increasing productivity' (13%). ?9 in 10 Australians feel loyalty towards small businesses, especially their local grocery stores (39%) and pharmacies (37%), followed by restaurants (21%), bakeries (20%) and butchers (20%). ?The majority (71%) of Australians shop local as they believe it is supporting their community and 68% would feel like they had lost part of their local community if a small business were to close down in their area. ?More than half (58%) of Australians believe small business is the backbone of the Australian economy. ?The top way Australians show their support for local businesses is to recommend them to friends, family and colleagues (50%). ?Nearly half (45%) of Australians are spending more with local businesses than 12 months ago. Australia Day Activities ?Three quarters (73%) of Australians will celebrate Australia Day in 2014. ?The top 3 ways Australians will celebrate Australia Day is by: 1. Hosting/attending a BBQ (61%) 2. Celebrating at home and with friends (33%) 3. Watching fireworks in their local city (31%) ?Two thirds (64%) of Australians believe friends and family are the number one element that makes a great Australia Day, followed by 'a good BBQ' (13%) and 'good weather' (12%), with 'beer' coming in last (2%). Notes to editors Source: The 2014 Westpac Australia Day Index was commissioned by Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC) (ABN 33 007 457 141) and conducted by Sweeney Research . The research was conducted between 25 November and 2 December 2013 , and interviewed 1,035 Australians. The sample was weighted to ensure representation of the Australian population in accordance with census data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics . Questions relating to small businesses were focussed primarily around retail businesses. For a copy of the report, or further information regarding the methodology used, please contact Westpac Media Relations on 02 8253 9484.
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