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