QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has come out firing in support of small business, warning lack of local support would see neighbourhood stores disappear.
"It's all very well to shop online and have competitive prices that many retailers online offer, but if we want true convenience and a sense of community, we've got to get behind local retailers," he said. "If we don't support them, they disappear."
Mr Newman, who visited his favourite little Ashgrove haunt, Milk, yesterday, in support of Shop-Small, said initiatives such as Queensland's Small Business Week should be adopted nationally.
Queensland statistics showed 95.6 per cent of businesses in the state - 410,000 firms - were classified as small.
Milk owner Amanda Scott, who employs two full-time workers and 34 casuals, said the Premier's "usual" was a vanilla milkshake and a ham and cheese toastie with Turkish bread.
Mrs Scott said what she found was "if you as a business support locals, they support you back".
Queensland television presenter Liz Cantor, whose favourite neighbourhood shopping spot is Canvas on the Gold Coast's Nobby Beach, said: "It's just that little bit more special when the barista greets you with a smile and asks 'the usual Liz?'.
Federal member for Oxley Bernie Ripoll said campaigns like ShopSmall were important to "rejig people's thinking" towards buying consumable items like bread, milk, meat, fruit and vegetables locally.