Why the “Think global, act local” is key to Australia’s small businesses recovery

Small businesses have a massive impact on Australia’s economy. Making up a total of a third of our national GDP and employing over 44% of workers. In fact, 98% of Australia’s businesses are small businesses. Because of this impact, small businesses are essential to the fabric of our local communities.

In our nation’s recovery from COVID, small businesses are taking center stage. They are an essential element in our economic recovery. A key element that will make this small business-led recovery successful is our small businesses’ ability to embody the “think global, act local” mindset.

So, what is “think global, act local,” and why is it vital to our economic recovery?

What is “think global, act local”?

Originally the phrase “think global, act local” was used in environmental sustainability. It focused on the impact of swift, individual actions, rather than waiting for global policy shifts. Since then, the phrase has been adapted for business, led by the rise of globalisation. Here it discusses the needs for businesses to have a global mindset, while still adapting and focusing on the needs of their country and the local community. This doesn’t just apply to big businesses; it is important for all businesses of any size to adopt this approach.  

Why local recovery is important

Small businesses are so important to our local communities. Unfortunately, they are amongst the hardest hit by COVID. The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) has said that three-quarters of small businesses experienced a 75% decline in revenue this year.

This decline affects more than jobs, it affects the local communities which are built around these businesses. While what they sell is important, it’s what they bring that is even more important. A friendly face, a go-to spot to spend time with friends, a sponsor for the local sports team, a space to meet members of the community, and connect with them.

The “Go Local First” campaign

The Federal Government and COSBOA have been pushing for a small business-led recovery through the Go Local First campaign. This initiative encourages Australians to support local businesses by purchasing from them over larger businesses, either online or in-store.

This initiative embodies the “think global, act local” mindset. It encourages individual action to impact our communities and recovery on a larger scale.  

How your business can adopt the “think global, act local” approach.

For a successful local led recovery, small businesses need to adopt the “think global, act local” mindset. To help you get started, here are three ways you can get involved:

  1. Work with other small businesses in your community. Partner with them to promote each other’s services, sell each other’s products, or simply leave a positive review on social media. Working together you can make a much larger impact than on your own.
  2. Ensure that local suppliers are apart of your supply chain and preferred vendors list. Bringing local suppliers into your operations is a great way to support local businesses in a meaningful way. You can also promote the suppliers you use on your website or social media and encourage your customers to use them or let them know how they can support them.
  3. Shop local whenever you can. By actively shopping at businesses in your local community you are giving them the support they need, and they may also repay in kind.


Now is the best time to embrace the “think global, act local” mindset by supporting other local businesses and building partnerships with them. As small business owners in your local community, you are all in this together. If you need assistance building partnerships with other small businesses, feel free to reach out to us.