Leading communication and payments platform, Podium, has announced the winners of Australia’s Most Loved Local Businesses, alongside COSBOA, the Council of Small Businesses Organisations of Australia. 

The campaign seeks to shine the spotlight on a handful of businesses from Australia’s local businesses community. The winners were identified from an initial list of over 3,000 businesses and at the culmination of a nationwide search. They were analysed based on the quality and quantity of their Google reviews, and selected by Podium and COSBOA.

The Most Loved Local Businesses are:

The Acoustic Centre (VIC): A 25-year-old specialist acoustic store in Melbourne on a mission to help people fall in love with music.

bikeNOW (VIC): Melbourne’s premier cycling destination and specialised concept store offering a total solution for all biking requirements. 

City Realty (SA): A real estate business in Adelaide with the vision of empowering its staff and making the process of purchasing or renting a property even easier.

DCM Plumbing & Drainage (QLD): A Gold Coast plumbing business that has been servicing 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 15 years ago with the aim of delivering a small family-run business on a large scale.

Westside Auto Wholesale (WA): A West Australian car dealership that has grown from humble origins to industry leading without losing its 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. 

“We’re so excited to launch Australia’s Most Loved Local Businesses, a celebration of some of the businesses that make up our vibrant community,” Podium Australia country manager, Dave Schiene said.

“Australia is a nation of local businesses; 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.

“The chosen eight businesses have earned the love and trust of their customers, as seen and measured in their online reviews. These reviews offer more than just support from their customers. Reviews also play a huge role in local business success, with more Australians than ever before being influenced by online reviews.”

In addition to being named as one of the eight, The Acoustic Centre, bikeNow and Xceed Real Estate were awarded COSBOA commended status. The Acoustic Centre was recognised because for helping other small businesses in the music industry through their charity appeal; bikeNOW, because of their positive impact on community fitness, safety and sustainability through their cycling programs; and Xceed Real Estate for their warm service and philanthropy. 

“Local businesses are the heart of communities across Australia. They know their customers personally, sponsor local teams, contribute to community and cultural activities and are often where local kids get their first job,” COSBOA CEO, Alexi Boyd said.

“Acoustic Centre exemplifies the passion and attention to detail that you only find in a specialised, local business. bikeNOW is commendable for its contribution to community health and safety through its cycling workshops. Finally, in a time when so many small business owners are dealing with stubborn, unsympathetic landlords, Xceed Real Estate is a loved business that gives back in so many ways.”

Reviews have never been more important or influential. According to Podium’s research, 84% of Australians say reviews influence them in discovering a local business while 28% have actively read a business’ reviews while standing outside before deciding whether to go in.