How much businesses lose for a nothing day off

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MELBOURNE teams are in the AFL and NRL grand finals and the local merchants wish footy fever was less rabid.

Friday is a football holiday with traditional parade for the city in advance of the AFL showdown between the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans.

And traders are crash-tackled by the occasion, according to a survey by the Australian Industry Group.

The overall cost to the state economy is at least $1 billion, the AiG calculates.

And one company calls the day off: A nothing holiday where we pay employees not to come to work.

The Victorian head of the AiG Tim Piper said today that during last years holiday 85 per cent of companies closed for the day. The average loss in revenue per business was $57,500 and ranged from $1000 to well over $500,000.

This year wont be much better.

Some 61 per cent of surveyed businesses said they planned to shut on Friday and anticipated an average loss of $16,000.

Those who stayed open faced a bigger wage bill because of public holiday penalty payments.

The average extra cost is expected to be around $9000 a business.

Some 51 per cent expected their revenue to be down by an average of around $16,000.

Some companies have decided they simply have no choice but to open, often because of national responsibilities or the need to keep faith with customers, said Mr Piper.

They will need to pay huge penalty rates to service the rest of the country as the consequences of closing are simply too great. But for them its become a shemozzle.

One large Victorian regional business has told AiG the extra costs resulting from the day are well over $200,000 and will mean a loss for the company for the entire month of September.

One company outside Melbourne is quoted saying: This holiday is forced on struggling small regional businesses Regional people do not travel to Melbourne to watch a parade, its just another day off.

And this: This holiday is a complete nonsense. And being based outside of the metropolitan area there is no benefit to our staff except a day off for no reason just another cost that our business has to bear paying staff to have another day off.