Podium and COSBOA reveal 2021 most loved Australian businesses

Alexi Boyd, CEO, Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA)

Podium, the leading communication and payments platform for local businesses, has announced the winners of Australia’s Most Loved Local Businesses, alongside COSBOA.

After 18 months of immense challenges, the campaign shined the spotlight on a handful of businesses from Australia’s vibrant, innovative and dynamic local businesses community.

The campaign covered over 3,000 businesses, at the culmination of a nationwide search.

The campaign’s winners were analysed based on the quality and quantity of their Google reviews and selected by Podium, COSBOA and most importantly, their customers.

Podium’s most loved local Aussie businesses

The Acoustic Centre (VIC)

A 25-year-old specialist acoustic store in Melbourne on a mission to help people fall in love with music, and help rebuild an industry hit hard by the pandemic.

bikeNOW (VIC)

Melbourne’s premier cycling destination and Specialized concept store offering consumers a total solution for all biking requirements.

City Realty (SA)

A passionate real estate business in Adelaide with the vision of empowering its staff and making the process of purchasing or renting a property easier than ever.

DCM Plumbing & Drainage (QLD)

A Gold Coast plumbing business that has been serving the community for over 15 years.

North Brisbane Dental (QLD)

The dentist with ‘an exact hand and a warm heart’ on a mission to change perceptions of the industry and remove the fear and stigma of a trip to the dentist.

Titan Plumbing (VIC)

A husband and wife duo who started up 15 years ago with the aim of delivering a small family-run business on a large scale.

Westside Auto Wholesale (WA)

A proud West Australian car dealership that has grown from humble origins to industry leading, all without losing it’s proud local links and heritage.

Xceed Real Estate (WA)

A real estate business with an emphasis on building long-standing, warm relationships, a commitment to its staff, and a passion for philanthropic work in the community.

Podium applauds the most loved local businesses

Podium’s Country Manager for Australia, Dave Schiene is excited with the campaign.

“We, at Podium, are extremely excited to launch Australia’s Most Loved Local Businesses, a celebration of some of the businesses that make up our vibrant community.”

“Australia is a nation of local businesses such as restaurateurs and retailers, dentists and tradies, from the tip of Tasmania to the top of Darwin, and from East coast to West.”

“Their economic contribution to Australia is immense, their social contribution infinite. In reality, this report could have featured almost two and a half million local businesses.”

“Instead, we could feature only eight even though they are a diverse representation of the millions of businesses who stand beside them. These eight businesses have earned the love and trust of their customers, as proved and measured in their online reviews.”

“These reviews offer them support from their customers and play a huge role in local business success, with more Australians than ever before being influenced by online reviews.”

“Local businesses have faced unprecedented challenges but they have innovated, adapted and continued to provide essential products and services to their customers.”

In addition to being named as one of the eight most loved local businesses, The Acoustic Centre, bikeNow and Xceed Real Estate were awarded COSBOA Commended Status.

The Acoustic Centre was recognised because the organisation is helping out other local small businesses in the music industry through their humanitarian charity appeal.

bikeNOW was recognised because of the organisation’s positive impact on community fitness, safety and sustainability facilitated through their cycling programs.

Xceed Real Estate was recognised for the warmth of their service and their philanthropy.

COSBOA applauds the most loved local businesses

“Local businesses are the heart of society in Australia,” COSBOA CEO, Alexi Boyd said.

“Local businesses know their customers personally, sponsor local teams, contribute to community and cultural activities and are often where local kids get their first job.”

“We would have loved to choose any of the eight businesses featured in this report for the Commended Status accolade but unfortunately we had to narrow it down to three!”

“Acoustic Centre is one of the commendable examples of companies displaying the passion and attention to detail that you only find in a specialised, local business.”

“bikeNOW is commendable for the company’s contribution to community health and safety through leveraging the various cycling workshops that they offer to clients.”

“In a time when many small business owners are dealing with stubborn, unsympathetic landlords, Xceed Real Estate is a loved business that gives back in so many ways.”

“Its my pleasure to offer congratulations to all eight businesses featured in this report as they represent everything that is great about local businesses,” said Alex Boyd.

Podium research findings

In the wake of COVID-19, Podium’s reviews have never been more important or influential.

84% of Australians say reviews influence them in discovering a local business while 28% have read a business reviews while standing outside before deciding whether to go in.

Australian consumers require a minimum 3.5* average star rating to even consider engaging with a business, while one in three (36%) require an average rating of at least 4*.

Quality is important, but so too is quantity and recency. Two in three (68%) Australian consumers don’t trust a high review unless there’s a high quantity of reviews.

And as Australians look to put the pandemic behind them, 69% of respondents said that they read online reviews to validate local businesses’ COVID-19 safety practices.