Lo­cal small busi­nesses to close or open short hours on AFL hol­i­day

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - By FREYJA POSTLETHWAITE

WAN­GARATTA’S cen­tral busi­ness district (CBD) may seem quiet to­mor­row as foot­ball fa­nat­ics leave the city to cel­e­brate AFL Grand Fi­nal Fri­day.

The pub­lic hol­i­day, in­tro­duced in 2016, is meant to pro­vide Vic­to­ri­ans with a chance to spend time with loved ones and com­mem­o­rate what many be­lieve to be Aus­tralia’s na­tional game.

How­ever, it re­ceived op­po­si­tion as some be­lieved it may have neg­a­tive con­se­quences for small busi­nesses that may lose money from penalty rates or not be­ing able to open.

A num­ber of lo­cally owned busi­nesses in­clud­ing Wan­garatta Jew­ellers and Shel­ley’s Coun­try Bake­house will not open on Grand Fi­nal Fri­day, while oth­ers such as Flynn’s of Wan­garatta will be opened for a shorter pe­riod of time.

Pat Flynn said he be­lieved the day was “a joke of a hol­i­day” and his store would close at 1pm, about four hours ear­lier than usual.

“Be­ing a pub­lic hol­i­day, we’re not go­ing to have any of the staff here so it will be just Ed and I,” he said.

“There is no rea­son for the hol­i­day, we can’t open and have our staff on - we get enough hol­i­days as it is.”

While staff at the Wan­garatta Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre said they had a few peo­ple call­ing ahead to stay in Wan­garatta, Wan­garatta Car­a­van Park owner Peter Crotty said there had not been many book­ings specif­i­cally for the long week­end.

“Our book­ings are quite steady with the school hol­i­days,” he said.

“No one has specif­i­cally in­di­cated that they are com­ing to town for a fam­ily grand fi­nal bar­be­cue or any­thing like that.

“We had a cou­ple last year, but we have more in No­vem­ber for the Wan­garatta Fes­ti­val of Jazz and the Mel­bourne Cup cel­e­bra­tions.”

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