The West Australian

Hopes up for locals to thrive

- MEILIN CHEW

Despite facing extreme challenges over the past few months, an overwhelmi­ng number of WA small to medium businesses are feeling optimistic about the future, according to a report.

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Report, which surveyed more than 1000 small to medium businesses nationally, revealed that an overwhelmi­ng number (77 per cent) in WA had their sales revenue affected by COVID-19, and 66 per cent were affected by finance/funding issues.

But nearly all WA businesses surveyed (95 per cent) were optimistic about the future, with nearly half feeling positive about the ability to support customers locally.

WA small business owner Danni Crews, who co-founded health foods and products company 123 Nourish Me with

Alisa Latto, said the key word that applied to their business during the pandemic was “pivot”.

“We realised that more people were spending time in their homes, which married up with our values about encouragin­g connection and reducing the toxic load within the home,” she said.

“COVID has been really good for working out which products are working and which ones aren’t. We’re focusing on the ones that are working and making them better, and we’re expanding on those.”

Ms Crews said the pandemic had streamline­d the focus for the business.

“Because we had to diversify so quickly, and we worked harder and faster than we ever have before, we’ve got a clear vision now with where the business should be going,” she said.

The report also revealed that more than half the WA business owners surveyed said their mental health had been affected, and 54 per cent said there had been a lack of guidance or mentorship support.

The report coincides with Amazon Australia announcing innovation grants, aimed at propelling a new wave of small to medium businesses.

Five grant packages are available, each worth more than $80,000.

 ??  ?? Alisa Latto and Danni Crews.
Alisa Latto and Danni Crews.

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