Belfast Telegraph

Disquiet over Jubilee shutdown

By David Elliott

A third of Northern Ireland's work-hungry businesses are unhappy that they'll have to close for an additional bank holiday as a result of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The Close Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the views of more than 500 SME owner-managers across the UK, found 30% of those surveyed are unhappy about the bank holiday while 10% showed strong opposition to the move and were "appalled" that they stand to lose a day's work from the festivities.

"It is not hard to see why so many firms up and down the country are upset by the extra bank holiday that is being forced upon them in June," Harry Parkinson, managing director of Close Brothers Commercial Finance (Ireland), said.

"Businesses in most sectors across the province face a daily challenge to make ends meet and unfortunately this extra bank holiday means they have no option but to 'shut up shop' so to speak, on a day when they would rather be trading, making sales and generating revenue."

Whilst it is widely expected that the majority of businesses will be shut for the duration of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, some firms, in particular those in the retail and hospitality sectors, will remain open but will be hit by a higher wage bill.