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Why more than half of Aussie businesses close within three years

Information verified correct on October 25th, 2016

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than half of Australian businesses will close down within the first three years of opening.

Although this rate of failure can be attributed to a number of perils, one of the most challenging is online overseas competition. A survey conducted by Marks Sattin showed that the second-biggest challenge faced by Australian businesses is overseas competition.

Kerry Cusack, founder of Australian brand Bondi Bather, says that this is not because people don’t want Australian products. "I get a lot of overseas purchasers, about the same number of overseas purchases as local and what that says to me is there is definitely a desire to buy Australian brands and especially Australian made brands.”

The higher prices in Australian compared with overseas competitors can be off-putting for consumers. "There’s an issue around tax and people don’t have to pay it when they’re buying overseas. I think it’s not a good way to support local businesses,” she says. “I don’t think that’s a new statistic that more than half of [Australian] businesses fail. A lot of people underestimate the cost. It’s expensive.”

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It is important for Australians to consciously support local businesses - these are the businesses that provide Aussies with jobs and drive our economy.

Choosing to support an Australian retailer rather than one from overseas for just one purchase makes a world of difference.

For example, if every Australian credit card holder made just one purchase online from an Australian retailer on Australia Day, it would inject over $2 billion into our economy. This means more jobs and more public funding.

But we can’t reap these benefits if Australians send their money offshore to the overseas competition.

With overseas prices often being more competitive, it makes it easy for consumers to choose to take their money offshore. Cusack urges to consumers to remember the flow on effect of buying Australian.

“I think the more Australians can support local businesses the more we hold on to things like local manufacturing and jobs. We need to support each other.”

Mia Steiber

Mia Steiber is a journalist at with a serious shopping habit and an addiction to gold jewellery. Her talents include tracking down one-off or almost sold out pieces and knowing the sizing charts for just about every brand.

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