Australia Post expands Local Business Heroes program

Cool Guppy was one of last year’s Local Business Heroes. (Source: Supplied)

Australia Post has just launched this year’s edition of its long-running Local Business Heroes program, which has now been expanded to support from 57 to 100 small online Aussie businesses that will share the total prize pool valued at around $500,000.

The expanded program is Australia Post’s way of providing more support for small businesses that have been hit hard over the past year by rising inflation and interest rates, alongside consumer confidence levels that are lingering into negative territory.

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

Applications are open until Sunday 12 March 2023, with recipients to be announced in June 2023. Applications are open to all small businesses, selling products online, and are existing customers of Australia Post.

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

“Small businesses are the beating heart of our local economy and we’re proud to support them grow and prosper through the Local Business Heroes program,” Starr said. “The Local Business Heroes program not only shines a spotlight on these important operators, but importantly helps them succeed through coaching, marketing and technology support. We’re thrilled to be able to increase the number of recipients so that we can reward more businesses for the amazing work they do day in, day out and help them navigate 2023.”

One of last year’s winners was wooden toy retailer Cool Guppy, which benefited from increased awareness and a range of practical business support to continue to grow. Cool Guppy owner, Adrian Law (pictured), urged small businesses to apply this year, saying, “It was incredible to receive the recognition last year and I felt a great sense of pride being one of the winners. The initiative was a wonderful motivator to ensure I continued to believe and work hard in my business.”

Australia Post has also reimagined the Heroes Package this year, offering winners the choice of five options out of a total of eight. The eight options sit within four key categories: Marketing, Sending (packaging and postage), Staying Connected and Business Coaching.

Australia Post states that the goal is to assist local business owners where they need it most – whether that be to reach new customers through in-store promotion and localised mail promotion, support when it comes to streamlining parcel operations, or one-on-one coaching sessions and essential work-from-home technology.

This article was first published on sibling website Inside Small Business.