The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) today has raised concerns regarding the Albanese Government’s backing for state and territory leaders to declare an impromptu public holiday if the Matildas were to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
While the celebration of the incredible achievement of our national team, if they win, is undoubtedly important, COSBOA urges the government to carefully consider the potential disruptions this decision might pose to the small business community.
COSBOA acknowledges and applauds the remarkable performance of the Matildas, who have brought pride and joy to the entire nation during their campaign. Their hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship are inspirational, and a victory such as this would deserve recognition and celebration. However, the proposal to introduce a spontaneous public holiday has raised significant concerns from small business owners.
COSBOA’s CEO, Luke Achterstraat, comments, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing significantly to local communities. While public holidays are intended to allow Australians to come together and celebrate important events, they can also lead to challenges for small business operators who must navigate the complexities of staffing, operational costs, and reduced trading hours.”
“Public holidays often result in increased wages for employees, given the requirement to pay staff up to 250% of their base earnings in penalty rates, depending on their award or workplace agreement. Moreover, for many small businesses, the cost of operating on a public holiday can be higher due to limited staff availability, and lower customer traffic. This can have a disproportionate impact on their profitability and financial sustainability.
“43% of small businesses currently aren’t making a profit and the next three to six months is going to be really critical for them to get through a pretty challenging environment,” finished Achterstraat.
COSBOA looks forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the government to find a solution that strikes a balance between celebrating our national achievements and supporting the vital contributions of small businesses.