WITH news this week that every Optus customer in Evans Head was without phone service, one of the region's business leaders has issued a reminder to big companies that "running a small business is not a joke".
NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Jane Laverty, said it was a "tough slog for many of our businesses particularly in a regional area".
"Fundamental to running a business is communication, so why is an organisation like Optus not supporting our businesses with firstly, the service they are paying for that is integral to their business operations and secondly, with appropriate information on when they can expect services restored for businesses in Evans Head as priority?" she said.
"The NSW Business Chamber is calling on all businesses in the region to make the Chamber aware of any issues and business constraints that are impacting on their day to day operations like this situation with Optus.
"Our greatest impact that we make as a network of businesses is to bring the issues to the fore as a group.
"There is power in numbers and solidarity, it is how we have facilitated change with Government to be more supportive of business over many years."
Ms Laverty also highlighted a recent situation with Nortec, in which it axed its small business incubator program and left vulnerable businesses in limbo.
"This is another example of saying one thing and doing another when it comes to genuine support for small business, economic development and job creation," she said.
"I guess I am throwing down the gauntlet and asking our corporate service providers and agencies to spare a thought and show some empathy for the small business operator doing everything they can to stay in business and create jobs in a challenging environment.
"And I ask the community to acknowledge the efforts of their local business person next time they are in their shop or offices for their hard work in keeping our local economy healthy."