Mitre 10 proprietor has the goods

MURWILLUMBAH Mitre 10 hardware proprietor George Phillips reckons with a bit of training his local State MP Thomas George could make a good shop assistant.

But Mr George, the National Party MP for the State seat of Lismore, which covers Murwillumbah, admits the training could be a little daunting.

“There’s over 30,000 different products here,” said Mr George, who was helping out at the store for two hours yesterday morning.

It was all part of an annual scheme in which NSW politicians spend a small amount of time working in a small business.

And the hours might not be much of an improvement on life as a politician.

“They open seven days a week. They are very customer focused and customer driven,” Mr George said.

The annual Pollies for Small Business Program, promoted by the NSW Business Chamber, aims tofamiliarise politicians with the challenges of small businesses and allow them to spend some time understanding issues facing the proprietors.

Mr George said he learnt yesterday that while smaller hardware stores like Mitre 10 faced challenges from big players in the industry such as Bunnings, they relied heavily on personal service to keep customers coming back.

“If they want some big hardware they go to (J H) Williams orsomewhere else,” said Mr Phillips who has run Budd’s Mitre 10 in Wollumbin Street, Murwillumbah, for the past eight years.

“For day-to-day stuff they still come here.”

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