There are many things that change for small businesses when the introduction of Daylight Saving arrives each year – this year in Victoria, on Sunday, 6th October.

As the time changes, so does the mindset of small business owners hoping to capitalise on the potential increase in business that can come with extended daylight hours.

Here we’ll explore what actually changes with the change in time such as trade traffic, opening hours, increased staff requirements and more.

Why do we have daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time as we know it was first proposed in the late 1800s in New Zealand, and the early 1900s in England.

In Australia, it was introduced mainly to allow people more time for social and leisure activities in the spring and summer, to reduce energy costs and finally to increase consumer spending.

How are small businesses affected by the economic impact of daylight saving time?

Whether the economic impact of daylight saving time decisively increases, decreases, or has no impact on consumer spending isn’t clear – different studies and different states show different results.

What we do know though, is that big retail stores, shopping centre retailers, restaurants, cafes and bars seem to benefit most from daylight savings time, as people are more likely to be out and about once the typical work day is done.

Does daylight saving time have a positive economic impact on small business?

While there’s no doubt people seem to have more free time post work hours to get out for a meal, pick up a present or go for a quiet drink, there are many factors for a small business owner to consider:

  • Will there be an increase in sales?
  • Will the increase in sales offset the need for more staff?
  • Am I able to change or extend my trading hours to benefit?

Figures show that for the most part, there is no economic impact of daylight saving time on small businesses.

From an energy consumption standpoint, businesses likely experience a net loss from daylight saving time, and that appears to be the case, with some exceptions, for sales as well.

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