A campaign has been launched to create a national Small Business Day encouraging consumers to shop local.

It isn’t just about soft sentiment. Small Business Day will be supported by a competition rewarding shoppers and businesses involved with $200,000 in prizes. For details of those prizes, see below.

Backed by Xero and a range of other firms – including Stuff and its SME specialist section Prosper – it is hoped to make Small Business Day an annual, national initiative to promote SMEs.

This inaugural Small Business Day will take place on Friday, April 9.

Cameron Bagrie, managing director at Bagrie Economics and former Chief Economist at ANZ, calls small businesses the “backbone of the economy.”

He says those that have weathered the continuing Covid disruptions have done “remarkably well” but warns the rocky road isn’t over yet.

“Recent Xero Small Business Insights data showed a pullback in January. A bit of economic reality is sinking in with borders still shut,” he said.

Which is why, says Xero Managing Director NZ & Pacific Islands Craig Hudson, it’s important that consumers shop local and shop small to help those businesses and the general economic recovery.

Small Business owners are being asked to pin their business on a map at www.smallbusinessday.co.nz. Businesses that do so go into the draw for one of five prizes of $10,000 cash.

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