The Small Business Friendly program
The Small Business Friendly (SBF) program, led by the Queensland Small Business Commissioner, was established in Queensland in 2020 to recognise and support local governments (councils) that actively support small businesses in their community, and to help small business recover and build resilience when faced with economic challenges.
Local governments, Queensland Government departments and large enterprises all play a part in either enabling or restricting the growth and prosperity of small businesses throughout Queensland. It is important that we support small businesses within our local communities, and even more so now, in the time of unprecedented natural disasters and the economic effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Now is the time to join the program to create a real and lasting impact. Hard economic times are placing a greater strain on businesses and on government and community resources. Understanding the benefits and needs of a vibrant small business community can help local economies thrive in these uncertain times.
The SBF program provides the framework, support and tools to help local governments, Queensland Government agencies and large enterprises to realise their role in supporting small business. By bringing people together around a common goal, the program aims to enhance the operating environment for small businesses and provide the opportunities they need to thrive.
The program is driven by a charter which includes a series of simple yet powerful commitments by SBF members to improve the way they transact and interact with small businesses across Queensland, and the way they support them. It is designed to create tangible and practical improvements and outcomes that help SBF members fulfil their commitments.
The SBF program is a collaborative community and support model that is designed to enhance the operating environment for Queensland small businesses. If your organisation works with, interacts with, or supports small businesses, then this program is for you.
Benefits of the SBF program
The benefits of the SBF program are wide-reaching, including establishing thriving communities, stronger small businesses and sustainable livelihoods.
Participation in the SBF program provides members with many benefits:
- access to a community of like-minded members who provide support and experience-based guidance to inform your own efforts
- access to tools and resources to support small business resilience, recovery and growth within the community
- access to regular forums to learn more about what others are doing
- recognition as a SBF member by us, which demonstrates your commitment to your small business community
- opportunities to showcase your local programs, to raise awareness of your efforts and provide inspiration to others
- use of the SBF brand identifier to promote your commitment and raise awareness of your involvement in the program
- dedicated advice and support from us.
Join the SBF program
By joining the SBF program, you commit to recognise and consider small businesses as an important customer, recipient and supplier of your services.
It means you will:
- consider small businesses when making key decisions that impact them, such as purchasing and payment practices, tender processes, and legislative and policy decisions
- be mindful of small businesses, their issues and their priorities when making decisions that affect your community and Queensland
- agree to and sign the Small Business Friendly program charter, which outlines your commitments to improve your organisation for your small business community
- keep a log of your activities and report on progress each financial year highlighting your key small business friendly achievements.
Contact us to find out more, or to join the SBF program.
How to be Small Business Friendly
Being small business friendly requires a ‘whole of organisation’ effort.
To get started:
- Find out what other councils are doing to be small business friendly.
- Read the SBF sample charter that outlines the promises and principles you will commit to as an organisation as you work to enhance the operating environment for small businesses.
- Use our 5-step ‘How to be small business friendly’ approach below for implementing the charter commitments in your organisation.
- Join the SBF program and work with others to share knowledge, experience and ideas to accelerate your improvements and impact across Queensland.
Start with a commitment
The SBF charter outlines a set of clear commitments central to the SBF program.
When an organisation signs the charter and joins the SBF program, you are demonstrating your organisation’s clear intent and focus to improve your systems, processes and customer journey for small businesses.
Your commitment signals your intent to work with small businesses to enhance their operating environment.
For many organisations, the charter brings a new awareness to the work they are already doing in supporting small businesses. It also shows where they should improve. The commitments represent principles that should be embedded in your organisation.
The five-step approach to being small business friendly
Every organisation that joins the Small Business Friendly program is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all plan to make it happen. Each member needs to create its own action plan for how it can be small business friendly.
Our simple 5-step approach can help to get you started.
These five steps are based on five key principles that other SBF members have used to accelerate their success.
The five-step approach
Read Introducing the Small Business Friendly program – The five-step approach for more information.