Back-to-back public holidays on Thursday and Friday will have little effect on south-west traders with many opening despite the high penalty rates they have to pay.
Most retailers and hospitality businesses have reduced their operating hours on Thursday and Friday with a handful closing because of staff or high operating costs.
Jonathan Dodwell from Images Restaurant will open every night of the long weekend and close for lunch Thursday and Friday.
"We charge a 15 per cent public holiday surcharge. It doesn't completely cover the cost of penalty rates but it helps," Mr Dodwell said. "If you didn't do it you couldn't open. The wages are just too high. You can't absorb it."
He said customers had become accustomed to paying a surcharge if they wanted to eat out on a public holiday.
Hotel Warrnambool manager Steve Phillpot said he would close on Thursday and Friday and re-open as usual for the weekend.
"It's purely a financial decision around penalty rates and the cost of operating," Mr Phillpot said.
Port Fairy's Oak & Anchor Hotel owner Blair Robertson said the venue would open as normal.
He said they continued to find it difficult to source staff with the ongoing shortages impacting a number of the region's industries. "We'll pay whatever it costs and hope that we get a few extras here on holidays," Mr Robertson said.
Warrnambool's Bojangles Restaurant owner Simon Mugavin said he would also open as normal. "Hopefully it's a busy weekend and there's lots of tourists around," he said.
The Hairy Goat owner Jade Kelson said the venue would open for dinner Thursday and Friday but close on Saturday due to staff shortages and availability. He said traditionally grand final night was quiet as people celebrated at home and would open on Monday night instead.
Phinc owner Tracey Togni said most of the city's shops would be opening.
"If we've got lots of people in town it's good to be able to open for them," Ms Togni said. "Hopefully it will be a busy weekend of trade which will make it worthwhile to pay the extra wages."
Style Active by Chloe owner Chloe Williams said her business would open Thursday and Friday with slightly reduced hours. "I'm hoping the four-day long weekend will bring a lot of tourists into town versus the (original) three-day long weekend," Ms Williams said. "Hopefully the town centre will be nice and busy."
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