A number of south-west retailers will open on Friday's AFL Grand Final public holiday and make the most of being allowed to trade.
National franchises and most locally-owned retail businesses will open with restricted hours with many looking forward to trading after repeated shut downs during the past 18 months, the most recent, a three-week closure.
Style 105 owner and Style Active by Chloe co-owner Debbie Arnott said both stores would be open and most owner-operators would be staffing their own shops to save on public holiday penalty rates.
"It's more cost to business again," Ms Arnott said. "Those that can open have to have restricted trade because they can't afford to pay the big penalty rates to staff, in these times anyway."
She said on Friday businesses would be paying staff double time and a half, at a rate of about $45 an hour, and understood if other small businesses could not afford to open because of the costs.
"There's not a lot of people around when Melbourne and the majority of the state has been shut down. I don't see the need for the public holiday this year, particularly when we've had an enormous amount of shut downs," Ms Arnott said.
Boolistic owner Nathalie Sheen said it always opened on the public holiday. "Hopefully we'll get some regional people through but it's a difficult one to judge how it's going to be with some regional areas closed," Ms Sheen said. "It'll be nice if people that can't go to the footy can get out and about and support local."
Something for Me owner Annie Freitag said it would open on Friday from 10.30am
"I feel like we've had so many shut downs we need to open," Ms Freitag said. "If there's more people around I'll stay open. We did last year and it was good."
Pitstop Menswear owner Lea Watson said it would trade from 11am. "Every time you're opening your door, you're hoping to get back some of the lost trade," Mrs Watson said.
"We've got beautiful winter stock that we're selling at half price because we've got boxes of summer stock arriving. We're getting prepared now for the Christmas trade."
Phinc owner Tracey Togni said she was keen to open and didn't want to miss a day of trading.
Ms Togni said it was a chance for people who would normally be working to get out and have a look in the shops and at the latest spring fashion.
"There's a lot of people around usually," Ms Togni said. "This year I think there will be a lot of people around who aren't going anywhere. We'll be open and make the most of it."
Port Fairy's Decked Out on Bank sales assistant Leiza Clifton said it would be wonderful to regain some of the lost trade. "There's only one day a year we close, apart from COVID-19, and that's Christmas Day."
Other Port Fairy businesses to open from 10am include If The Shoe Fits and Isabellas, Salt Interiors, The Passage, Pash and Evolve.
In Warrnambool, Annie's Gifts opens at 9am, Gazman from 10am, Suzanne Grae from 10.30am and So Little Tiny, Daizy Boutique, Abbey Lane Linen and Gifts, Blue Illusion, Adairs, Just Jeans and Lincraft all from 11am.
Warrnambool's Bells Garden Centre is open from 9am, George Taylor Stores Warrnambool from 10am and Grassmere store from 9am and the Koroit Lions Op Shop from 11am.
Check with individual stores not listed for their public holiday opening hours.
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