Public holidays bad for business

Mansfield business operators voice their concern at Premier’s costly move

UNANIMOUS DISCONTENT: Local small business owners met with Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon) and Shadow Minister for Small and Medium Enterprise Neale Burgess last week to discuss the impact of the additional public holidays. Pictured are (from left) James Picone, Ms McLeish, David Clarke, John Bertalli, Mr Burgess and James Yencken. PHOTO: David Mims

MANSFIELD business operators say Premier Daniel Andrews’s decision to introduce two more public holidays – on Easter Sunday and
AFL Grand Final Eve – will cost them, and other regional small businesses dearly.

A number of local business owners met with Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon) and Shadow Minister for Small and Medium Enterprise, Neale Burgess, in Mansfield last week, adding their voices to a growing chorus of concern from businesses over the changes.

Mr Burgess said there had been no consultation in the lead up to the gazetting of the two extra public holidays, and he had heard there may be two more holidays planned, but at this stage that was speculation.

He said the public holidays’ additional costs statewide were likely to amount to around $1.6 billion in lost productivity and income and around $320 million in additional wages.

“Around 90 per cent of small businesses employ four people or less and this will impact them greatly,” he said.

“Similarly, the businesses most affected are those that employ our young people, such as cafes, at a time when youth unemployment is an issue.”

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