Footy holiday a winner?
Grand final feedback sought as retail concerns linger
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. vic.gov.au 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.