The impact of public holidays on small businesses

As a sporting tragic, it’s safe to say I’ve shed a few tears over the weekend, with Winx and Tiger woods cementing their places in history as the GOAT in each of their sports. 

However, the next little while will see some tears spilled by small business owners across Australia for less happy reasons.

In the seven days from Thursday this week, we will have four public holidays: Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Anzac Day.

This presents some serious challenges for small businesses, who are faced with the conundrum of whether they can afford to open or not.

Here’s the equation:

–       Option 1 – open, pay staff penalty rates, and potentially lose money

–       Option 2 – open, work the days yourself to save the penalty rates outlay, but potentially have a negative impact on your physical and mental health

–       Option 3 – don’t open at all and write it off as a loss

Every business will have a different perspective on this decision, though some – in particular those who run their business in a major shopping centre – will have no choice, as they have to open to meet the terms of their lease.

Of course, businesses in tourist areas will see all this as a positive, as those who have taken three days’ leave for 10 days off, depart the city.

Those trying to make ends meet from people who stay in town will find themselves asking if perhaps we could spread the public holidays out across the year.

Whichever way you look at it, the argument we hear from time to time from various politicians that public holidays are good for the economy, is absolute rubbish.

If public holidays were so good for the economy, we’d have one every week!

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