Extra bank holiday is a royal pain

A THIRD of Yorkshire’s business are opposed to the forthcoming jubilee bank holiday.

The Closed Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of business owners up and down the country, found 32 per cent of businesses in this region were not in favour of the extra day off.

This year there will be two bank holidays, on June 4 and 5.

Businesses often face a tough choice – either lose a days’ trade or open as normal with a higher wage bill.

For traders and business owners in North Kirklees, the bank holidays pose several problems.

Trish Makepeace, president of the Dewsbury Chamber of Trader, said: “Our feeling for some time has been that we get too many Bank Holidays in the early part of the year and not enough towards the back end, so I think the problem isn’t so much the number of holidays we have but when they take place.

“There’s definitely a knock-on effect for businesses, especially smaller ones, with all the holidays at this time of year, so another one for the Diamond Jubilee is only going to add to the effect at a time when things are still very difficult for a lot of our members.

“Businesses still have to pay their rents, their business rates and their staff wages for bank holidays but they lose a day’s takings – or with the Jubilee holiday it’ll be two days’ income lost, so I can certainly see where the people who are against this extra holiday are coming from.

“There’s no way they’re going to be able to get that money back in the rest of the week, especially when people are going off to all these different Bank Holiday events and spending their money at those instead of with our members.

“There’s only so much spending money to go round.”

Spenborough Chamber of Trade president Viv Laycock agreed they were a mixed blessing.

She said: “I do feel that occasions like the Diamond Jubilee are not something you see much in your lifetime and they give you a chance to join in the festivities.

“But it does take a day of trade away and you have to hopefully recover from that later on in the year.”

However, Jane Snook, owners of The Flower Shop, Batley, and chairman of the Batley Business and Retail Association had a relaxed attitude towards the jubilee shut-down.

She said: ““My personal opinion is that this is a special occasion in our country’s history and it should be something that we celebrate.

“I can appreciate that people have to consider paying staff when things are pretty hard out there but we have come to a pretty poor point if we can’t celebrate.

“It’s a celebration of the country’s history, how often do we get to celebrate something like the Queen’s Jubilee? We should embrace it.

“If your business is just reliant in one day it’s a bit sad. It should be a joyful occasion and something to celebrate.”