EP#227 ~ We welcome one of the most passionate industry leaders. What drive these advocates to dedicate their lives to supporting small businesses?

| Sunday April 7

Small Biz Matters: People, Policy, Purpose ~ Episode #227
Broadcast date:
2 April 2024
Host: Alexi Boyd, Small Business Advocate & Policy Advisor
Guest: Sandy Chong, CEO of Australian Hairdressing Council

There is a sector of the small business community who has always been on the business frontline and constantly impacted by macro and micro economics. They are the embodiment of small business people :  First in line to feel it when consumers tighten their belts, often holding together a regional community, quick to feel the pain of supply chain issues, wondering how they’re going to pay their energy, rent and wages bills, listening to customer’s woes whilst wondering how they’ll keep their on doors open... They wear all the hats and suffer all the consequences of poor Government decisions.

Yet without them we would grind to a halt – which is what happened during COVID when we all realised how much we need their listening ear, their business to flourish so young people in our community can get a head start and of course, their magic touch to make us feel good and a smile as you enter their salon. I am of course, talking about Hairdressers.

And there is no one. And I mean no one out there who is more dedicated, passionate, fearless and fabulous than today’s guest, Sandy Chong. So strap yourself in and hit that record button; she’s about to share with us a rollercoaster of a career as an advocate, a business leader, an industry leader and a formidable woman in Canberra.

PEOPLE - Tell us a bit about your background and why you are so passionate about advocating for small businesses in your industry. What have been the highs and lows of advocacy? How difficult do you find it to engage with small business to help advocate for them?

POLICY - What areas of policy are you focused on right now? And who do you tend to speak with and on what formats/roundtables?  Do you touch on all levels of government?

PURPOSE - What policy issues matter most to small businesses in your industry? Does that change from year to year? How do you deal with the slow pace of change in government policy? What are the biggest threats to them? Are the needs of small businesses in your industry different to that of small businesses in other industries?

Sandy Chong is a key influence in the Hairdressing Industry. Currently she is the CEO/Director of the Australian Hairdressing Council and past Director of COSBOA (Council Of Small Business Organisations Of Australia) representing small business. She speaks on behalf of the industry to Government, creating relationships to support an industry that is often overlooked.

Her role at the AHC has established better business practices, training and education and building sustainable careers for the future of the industry.

Sandy’s vision is to create an industry that has the highest possible standards in ethics, technical ability and workplace practices.

Owner of her own salon Suki for 38 years, Sandy is a business multi award winner as well as being inducted into the Industry's Hall Of Fame and is also the recipient of The Australian Hair Industry Special Recognition Award. She is a respected industry source for the media and has been interviewed as a guest on countless television, radio, press and online platforms. 

To find out more go to: https://www.theahc.org.au