THE four-storey “Small Business Too Big to Ignore” sign at the Narooma Visitor Centre on Friday was hard to miss – and that was the idea.
Narooma Chamber of Commerce president Orit Karny Winters said even those who did not stop for breakfast at the SkyBoard sign, would have seen its message while driving past.
“Small Business - Too Big To Ignore” is a national campaign uniting chambers across the country for the first time.
The SkyBoard featuring the slogan was part of the state-wide campaign by the NSW Business Chamber to attempt to influence federal candidates to do more for small business.
With the Southern Hemisphere's largest mobile billboard, the SkyBoard, completing the last leg of its NSW state-wide tour before polling day, more than 100,000 active voices have now shown their support.
"That's over 100,000 voices that have registered their support for Australia's two million small businesses which employ seven million Australians," said Gary Ryan, NSW Business Chamber Capital Far South Coast regional manager.
“The website, www.toobigtoignore.org.au was officially launched in April to formally commence our united Chambers campaign.
“This has been the Federal Election where we have clearly put the well-being of the small business community back on the electoral map.
“I'd like to thank all of those Australians who have shown that they support their local small businesses, and I encourage everyone else who agrees with this to show their support as well.”
Eurobodalla mayor Lindsay Brown agreed that for too long politicians had not done enough to make small business a priority.
Ms Karny Winters said just one example was talk of making small business contribute more to superannuation, an impost they could not really afford.
She said the Narooma district small businesses were too reliant on the last remaining industry of tourism and new industries needed to be found to support the local economy.
Typical of the challenges on small businesses that do rely on tourism is the experience of the owners of the Narooma Motel YHA.
Owner Darren Brass, who checked out the sign on Thursday, said the youth hostel industry across Australia in recent years had been hit hard by the combination of high Australian dollar and struggling European economies.
Backpackers were now more likely to hire a van, camp where they could and enjoy free activities like going to the beach instead of paying for hostels and charter boats.
But he said his business was now more relying on people from the region and inland coming on holiday to the coast and wanting reasonably priced motel accommodation.
For these and other reasons, Ms Karny Winters said diversifying the economy beyond tourism with some form of new and sustainable industry would be key to securing the district’s long-term future.
After Narooma, the truck-mounted SkyBoard sign trundled up the coast to Batemans Bay and Ulladulla for its last appearances prior to the election.