Mandurah small business and Peel Chamber of Commerce says diversifying key in tough times

With long-term shops closing and 180 empty commercial premises in Mandurah, a small business and the Peel Chamber of Commerce have said diversifying is the key to staying economically viable.

Lenny's Family Butchers have been operating in Greenfields for nearly 30 years, but came close to shutting its doors when a Woolworths opened nearby, employee Matt Marshall said.

"Lenny nearly had to close the doors that year," he said.

The Murdoch Drive business faced another blow recently, after a string of break-ins saw the shop lose about $10,000 from damage costs.

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Mr Marshall said the business has since launched a website with a delivery option, making it easier for customers to purchase their local goods.

"There is no need to come to the shopping centre at all anymore," he said.

"It has been in the pipeline for a couple of months but was stalled due to the chaos with the shop trying to get back on our feet again.

Many businesses are not diversifying which is causing them to struggle or close down.

Lenny's Family Butcher employee Matt Marshall

"We also have introduced cooked meals and catering.

"Many businesses are not diversifying, which is causing them to struggle or close down."

Mr Marshall said it was important to support local businesses.

"The fish and chip shop next door closed the other weekend," he said.

"It's just trying to keep it in people's minds, to remind them to shop local and support local families.

A small business can compete and thrive in a competitive environment by creating a unique experience and point of difference, accompanied by unrivalled customer service.

Peel Chamber of Commerce general manager Andrew McKerrell

"We give back to the community ourselves and a couple of our staff are volunteers too.

"Community spirit is what it's all about."

Peel Chamber of Commerce general manager Andrew McKerrell said small businesses should try to make a "point of difference".

"Competing with the larger chain stores can be hard, however a small business can compete and thrive in a competitive environment by creating a unique experience and point of difference, accompanied by unrivalled customer service," he said

"Give them something to boast to their friends and family about and make your business service the thing you known best for."

Mr McKerrell said 97 per cent of businesses in Peel are 'small' and 20,000 residents are employed by these companies.

"Our local small businesses are the life blood of our community," he said.

"They employ us, sponsor our sporting teams, clubs and charity groups, donate to those doing it tough, and the only way they can continue to do all of this is if we choose to support those who support us."