Footy hol­i­day a win­ner?

Grand fi­nal feed­back sought as re­tail con­cerns linger

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

BUSI­NESS Wan­garatta has queried whether the AFL Grand Fi­nal eve pub­lic hol­i­day pro­vides any ben­e­fit to lo­cal busi­ness.

Chair­per­son Dave Fuller said the group would seek feed­back from mem­bers over the next week, and con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion at its next Busi­ness After Hours event on Wed­nes­day evening.

Mr Fuller said ques­tions would cen­tre on the aim of the pub­lic hol­i­day, what ben­e­fit it pro­vides, whether there is an al­ter­na­tive oc­ca­sion or date that would be more ap­pro­pri­ate, and the eco­nomic im­pact of the hol­i­day.

He said the State Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to the hol­i­day in 2015 had in­cluded plans for re­views based on eco­nomic im­pact.

“As a cham­ber, we aim to pro­mote our mem­bers, cre­ate net­work­ing and ad­vo­cate for them,” he said.

“In do­ing this, the grand fi­nal eve hol­i­day seem­ingly does not lend it­self to be­ing a use­ful or vi­able day.

“We are yet to see ad­e­quate data to show how the hol­i­day im­pacts non-metro ar­eas, and if there is an eco­nomic ben­e­fit.

“It has this year fallen dur­ing the school hol­i­days, so po­ten­tially fam­i­lies will be able to do some­thing, how­ever, that is pre­sum­ing fam­ily units are all given the day off.

“Given our ser­vice-based pro­fes­sions con­tinue to op­er­ate on a pub­lic hol­i­day, the cham­ber feels not many fam­ily units get the full ben­e­fit of this pub­lic hol­i­day.

“We need to ad­dress how a day like this im­pacts the busi­ness from a wage point of view.

“Many re­tail busi­nesses po­ten­tially can’t af­ford to open doors if the foot traf­fic is not great enough to off­set wages against sales.

“It al­most be­comes a chicken and egg sit­u­a­tion for a trader - if you don’t open, do you run the risk of not mak­ing sales?

“How­ever, if you do, but the traf­fic is light and your out­go­ings are less than pub­lic hol­i­day rates, have you hit the wrong mar­ket?

“What mar­ket­ing is the State Govern­ment of­fer­ing to sup­port the re­tail sec­tor and drive spend­ing?

“From a hospi­tal­ity point of view, the ex­tra vol­ume is al­ways wel­come, and it is more tan­gi­ble, in that sur­charges can be ap­plied to re­mu­ner­ate the busi­ness for some of the staffing costs.

“But then it’s al­most like a de­ter­rent for those with the day off.”

Mr Fuller said Wed­nes­day’s Busi­ness After Hours event, at Cafe the PreVue from 6.30pm

NOM­I­NA­TIONS are now open for the Ru­ral City of Wan­garatta’s Aus­tralia Day Awards.

Nom­i­na­tions are sought for: Cit­i­zen of the Year, Young Cit­i­zen of the Year, Com­mu­nity Event of the Year, and Lo­cal Achiever of the Year.

Mayor Ken Clarke said Aus­tralia Day pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to not only cel­e­brate our beau­ti­ful coun­try, but also to recog­nise out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to our com­mu­nity by lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­nity groups.

“If you know some­one who has made a no­table con­tri­bu­tion to Wan­garatta or its smaller com­mu­ni­ties and think they de­serve to be recog­nised, we want to hear about it,” he said.

Re­cip­i­ents will be pre­sented with their awards at the 2018 Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions held across the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Nom­i­na­tions close on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1 and forms can be found at the Lat­est News sec­tion of coun­cil’s web­site www.wan­garatta. or from cus­tomer ser­vice at the Wan­garatta Govern­ment Cen­tre. to 7.30pm, would be the ideal op­por­tu­nity to gain feed­back on the hol­i­day’s im­pacts, as it was fresh in lo­cals’ minds.

The Vic­to­rian Cham­ber of Com­merce and Industry weighed into the de­bate this week, say­ing Vic­to­rian busi­nesses could not af­ford to pay for to­mor­row’s pub­lic hol­i­day, with many choos­ing to shut their doors to min­imise their losses.

But Premier Daniel An­drews has dis­missed calls to dump the pub­lic hol­i­day, with the State Govern­ment re­it­er­at­ing its stance that the hol­i­day was here to stay.

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