Small and independent businesses are what keep Tasmania running. These are the local businesses run by ordinary people – mums, dads and families – who make a living by servicing their communities.
In Tasmania, we are blessed with some of the world’s best produce and an abundance of choice when it comes to where to buy it. In fact, Tasmania is one of the most intensely competitive grocery markets in Australia’s $88 billion grocery industry.
The major chains of Woolworths and Coles account for approximately 75 per cent of Australia’s supermarket and grocery market, but in Tasmania their share is even higher – approximately 88 per cent.
This is why Tasmanian Independent Retailers (TIR) was formed to support the work of small and independent businesses around the state, and to help them provide a more convenient and competitive alternative to the major supermarket chains.
As part of this support, in 2014 TIR commissioned an economic analysis from KPMG to measure the size, scope and contribution of independent retailers to the supermarket and grocery sector
Since 1984, TIR members have been operating under the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) brand, which has grown to become the third-biggest player in Tasmania, used by over 80 Tasmanian stores. Together, these stores directly provide 1002 full time equivalent jobs and support for 1936 full time equivalent jobs, or 1.1 per cent of Tasmania’s full time employment.
IGA also makes an annual contribution to the Tasmanian economy of $1,333 billion, when accounting for total turnover, value added and additional factor income. This is 1.6 per cent of Tasmania’s total state GSP.
TIR itself provides a range of support to IGA stores, including negotiations with suppliers, marketing, in-store layout, lobbying governments on their behalf and much more. Each year, TIR’s own activity contributes a further $342.6 million to the Tasmanian economy and supports an additional 144 full time equivalent jobs.
On this basis, together the TIR and IGA retailer network contributes a total of $1.7 billion, or approximately 3 per cent of state GSP.
Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a local business on average 58% more money stays in your community compared to what would have happened if you spent that $100 at a national chain store.
These figures confirm the importance of independent retailers to Tasmania, but it’s only part of the story. Small and independent businesses are also the lifeblood of our communities. Away from Tasmania’s larger cities and towns, IGA retailers are the main service providers, often in parts of Tasmania where the economy is doing it tough.
When you choose where to do your weekly shop or where to go to buy last-minute ingredients for dinner, think about choosing to support a local.