34 per cent of firms oppose extra bank holiday for jubilee
The Westcountry is "well- positioned" to reap the rewards of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations, despite opposition from a third of businesses unhappy at being forced to shut up shop, business and tourism leaders argue.
A survey of businesses in the South West has revealed that 34 per cent resent the imposition of an additional bank holiday and the resulting loss of income. Of these, a small minority say they are "appalled" at being forced to close down operations around the first weekend in June given the current austere economic climate.
Rob Harris, local head of Sussex-based Close Invoice Finance, which conducted the poll of 500 small-and medium-sized enterprises, said many workers would take a few extra days off "either side" of the four-day weekend.
"This means many firms are facing the very real possibility of operating with a depleted workforce for nearly a fortnight," he added. "For many businesses in the current economic climate this will bring with it financial ramifications that firms could do without."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
The financial effect of extra national festivities hit the headlines last year when the Chancellor blamed the faltering economy on the four-day Royal wedding celebrations. A recent think tank report estimated that each of the country's eight bank holidays cost £2.3 billion in lost productivity.
The study, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, calculated that sectors that lose money from closing account for 47 per cent of the economy, compared with 14 per cent for those that benefit from extra trade, such as shops, hotels and restaurants. However, in the Westcountry that ratio is weighted more towards leisure and tourism and away from traditional industry, thereby lessening the impact.
Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council and head of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said the region would be "at least neutral and probably better off".
He added: "In downtown Darlington the effect might be negative but if we set ourselves up for the market in short breaks we will benefit. There are always winners and losers – some small businesses who will lose out but there are broader economic benefits for leisure and tourism."
The Close Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of firms, found that four per cent of business reported "strong opposition" to the holiday and were "appalled" that they stand to lose a day's work.
But Malcolm Bell, head of VisitCornwall, said there would be "intangible" benefits from a long holiday, such as increased energy and enthusiasm.
"The average bank holiday is worth up to £20 million to Devon and Cornwall in terms of tourism," he added.