I work every day with owners of small businesses. I am constantly inspired by their tenacity, agility and skill. The Office of Small Business in Queensland defines a small business as a business employing less that 20 employees. Together, there are 426,000 of us small businesses.
That means 97% of businesses in Queensland are small businesses. Together, we employ 44% of all private sector workers. I write we on purpose. My business is a small business, in fact it is a family partnership. We are the very definition of one of the 426,000 small businesses in Queensland.
Small is such a funny word though. Most of the businesses I work with are technically small, by the measure of their payroll, and some are therefore medium, employing many more than the 20. But in terms of vision, value and operation, these guys are certainly not small in any other way.
I take my hat off to the manufacturers who are consistently innovating to operate as efficiently as possible, and who have explored other markets around the world. Those who have taken risks to export products and services designed and brought to life right here in Queensland to the rest of the world - and are experiencing success. Not by accident, but by design.
To those who have invested in research and development, even through the tough times, to be spoilt with choice about which new product they will bring to market first.
To those who have listened to their market and re-designed their business to suit.
To those who have developed portfolios that deliver value on the balance sheet and in our community.
To those who have endured the drought.
To those who have had their backs to the wall, and kept standing.
To those who have doubted themselves, and forged ahead anyway.
To those who have concentrated on core business, and found the extra 1% everywhere they can.
To those who absolutely love what they do, and have found a way to turn their passion into profit.
I salute you.
I am in awe. I look at big corporates, and I have had my time working with a fantastic one of these beasts and I wouldn't trade my time there for anything. But for now, as a 41 year old mother, wife, sister, daughter and business owner, my time working with such inspirational, get your hands dirty, think big, act bigger kind of business clients, I love it.
Your resolve is inspirational, and there's nothing small about that.