Small businesses are part of the economy's fabric and provide vibrancy and variety, a business owner says.
Facade Escape Room owner Angela Frimberger said the majority of our businesses were small businesses in a town like Port Macquarie.
She said small businesses gave Port Macquarie its uniqueness.
March marks Small Business Month. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, in conjunction with the state government and industry groups, has put together a comprehensive program of events and activities for Small Business Month.
Through the activities planned, business owners will learn new skills to help them navigate the road ahead and get the opportunity to network and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.
The month has a theme of rebuild, recharge and renew.
Facade Escape Room, which offers an experienced-based activity with four mental adventure games catering to tourists and residents, went through a couple of closure periods during lockdowns and a lull in December due to Omicron.
"We definitely feel like we are coming back right now after a school holiday period that was pretty good but it wasn't as good as it should have been," Ms Frimberger said.
The business, which has grown since it opened at the end of 2018, looks forward to further growth.
"We are really happy how the business has thrived so far," she said.
Ms Frimberger said small businesses could be a force for good in the community beyond their immediate front door.
That can take many forms from charitable donations to support of sporting groups and backing social issues.
Facade Escape Room staff supervisor Taylor Heath said having a lot of small businesses made a really good community.
Cake Box Boutique owner/manager Michelle Boyd said small businesses not only provided employment but personalised attention for customers.
The birthday cake specialists attracted new customers during the pandemic as more people discovered the Port Macquarie business.
"We've been pretty lucky really," Mrs Boyd said.
"It [the pandemic] helped us grow because people came to look for things, and while looking, they discovered us."
More people ordered cakes as gifts to be delivered to loved ones during lockdowns, for example.
Small businesses play an important role. More than 800,000 small businesses employ more than 1.6 million people and contribute $400 billion to the state's economy each year.
Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said small businesses were an integral part of our communities, especially in our smaller towns and regions, forming part of the social fabric and a place where community bonds were strengthened.
The state's peak business organisation, Business NSW, says the official launch of Small Business Month is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the thousands of small business owners, and their employees right across NSW.
Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said the past two years had been incredibly difficult for the small business community.
"Small Business Month gives us all a chance to recognise our favourite small business and give them the encouragement to keep on doing what they do best," Mr Hunter said.
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