Breathe HR goes big for small businesses in Sydney and Melbourne

Employees and small business owners come out on top

Breathe HR goes big for small businesses in Sydney and Melbourne

An HR tech company has launched a new campaign to breathe fresh life into small businesses hit hard by lockdowns.

As part of the #bigforsmall campaign, HR tech platform Breathe HR and its parent company ELMO Software are giving all employees $20 per day to spend at small businesses near their offices in Sydney’s George Street and Collin Street in Melbourne. It’s a bid to drive support to the CBD business owners that have seen their foot traffic decimated by the latest lockdowns.

The company is urging other businesses to get involved with the campaign as Sydney emerges from restrictions for the double-vaccinated, and Melbourne gets set to follow this weekend.

ELMO Software CEO and co-founder Danny Lessem said getting small businesses back on their feet will be key to kickstarting Australia’s economy.

“The driver behind this campaign is to harness the power of bigger businesses' workforces for good by empowering employees to spend at small businesses,” he said.

“Deciding to reopen is a tricky decision for a lot of small operators who may be worried about sales volumes and patronage. Small businesses need to know that the broader business community and Australian workers are ready to support them with patronage so they can reopen with confidence.

“I encourage all business leaders to think about how their organisation can support the small businesses around them and get on board the #bigforsmall campaign.”

With many companies allowing their staff to work flexibly for the rest of 2021, there’s fear CBD businesses won’t feel the full effect of the cities reopening until early next year. Plus, with the Christmas shutdown looming and many residents hoping to escape the city, post-lockdown is a critical time for the CBD economies.

During Melbourne’s five-day snap lockdown in February this year, foot traffic in the CBD fell by 89% - the most dramatic decline of any localised restrictions across Australia. While in Sydney, the situation for small business owners was just as dire.

But the #bigforsmall campaign is not just about empowering employees to support local businesses with cash. Companies can encourage their staff to support local business by incentivising returns to the office through social catch-ups or team lunches. They can also encourage employees to take longer breaks for long-awaited activities like haircuts.

 As well as Breathe HR and ELMO Software, #bigforsmall partners include Pivot, HR Onboard and Vocam.

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