Welcoming Businesses are for everyone

Article image - Welcoming Businesses are for everyone Warrnambool’s Brown’s Depot Bakery owner, Nick Brown said small businesses need to cater for everyone.

Warrnambool City Council, Victoria, is working with businesses to make them as accessible as possible for everyone and ultimately, attract, serve and retain more customers, under the new Welcoming Business Program.

About one in five people living in Warrnambool has some form of disability.

This number is even higher when you consider people with temporary disabilities or other special access requirements, such as parents with prams.

A Welcoming Business is a business committed to ensuring safe and easy access for everyone, including older people and people with disabilities, and is endorsed by Warrnambool City Council’s Welcoming Businesses Program.

Endorsed Welcoming Businesses satisfy a set of minimum standards relating to physical access, communication and customer service.

They are given a sticker to display in their window to help make them easily identifiable to potential customers.

Brown’s Depot Bakery owner Nick Brown said that as a business owner, failing to make your business accessible for everyone could not only cost you a single sale, but that person’s regular business too.

“It’s about getting people in the door, providing a good service, and getting them to come back.”

He said that while physical infrastructure such as an entrance ramp, low counters, open floor space and an accessible toilet played a big part, the attitude of staff was also important.

“All our staff work hard not to exclude anyone. It just comes down to customer service. You just try and give all customers good service,
whatever they need.”