Today the world celebrates for the first time ‘Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day’. The Illawarra Business Chamber welcomes the United Nations’ recognition of the important role small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play in our economy through the creation of this Day to be celebrated on 27 June each year.

Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said that SMEs, generally those enterprises which employ fewer than 200 persons, are the backbone of the Illawarra economy and most economies worldwide.


“There are approximately 28,000 SMEs in the Illawarra. Together, these businesses generate around 70 per cent of the employment in the region and 46 per cent of gross regional product,” said Chris Lamont.


“Almost 97 percent of businesses in Australia are SMEs, employing over 4.7 million people and creating around 80 per cent of new jobs. For this reason, it is important that at a local, state and national level we provide them with the necessary support to thrive,” said Chris Lamont.


At a recent Illawarra First event, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman highlighted that the key challenges for SMEs are (i) invoice payment times, notably from larger businesses and corporations, (ii) red tape, (iii) taxes and charges, (iv) employment laws, (v) unfair contracts, and (vi) cyber security.


“The Illawarra Business Chamber looks forward to providing ongoing support to local businesses to address these challenges and would like to take this opportunity to thank all SMEs for their contribution to economic development and jobs growth in the Illawarra, New South Wales and across Australia,” said Chris Lamont.


“As we celebrate World SME Day for the first time today, it is timely to highlight the fact that this year Australia will host the World Chambers Congress – a valuable forum that facilitates the exchange of real-world ideas and best practices on both chamber and business activities,” said Chris Lamont.


The 10th World Chamber Congress will be held in Sydney from 19-21 September 2017 and is expected to attract around 1,000 delegates from around the world. The Conference is being jointly organised by the Sydney Business Chamber, a division of NSW Business Chamber. 


For more information about the World Chamber Congress event please visit: