Leading businesses for sale portal AnyBusiness.com.au has urged small business owners to be prepared should they be planning to operate over the Easter long weekend.
AnyBusiness Director of Operations, Mary Tamvakologos said small business owners should do their due diligence on trading restrictions during the public holiday event, as small retail shops, special retail stores, service stations and motor vehicle shops were all required to be closed on Good Friday.
“Restrictions on trading hours generally apply over Easter however, they vary by state,” Mrs Tamvakologos explained.
“Small business operators should do their own homework as to which restrictions or exemptions apply to their business as those who flout restricted retail trading hours risk hefty fines,” Mrs Tamvakologos added.
A State-by-State Guide to Easter Trading for Small Businesses
Businesses with 20 or fewer workers employed in their shop and fewer than 100 workers employed in their business can trade without impediment during Easter.
Retailers who don’t meet these criteria and are not among exempt categories, such as petrol shops, takeaway outlets, chemists and cafes, cannot open.
The Easter weekend includes public holidays on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday — although Victorian law only restricts retailers on Friday.
New South Wales
In NSW, the days from Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive are all public holidays, and similarly to Victoria, small businesses are exempt from restricted trading.
Both Good Friday and Easter Sunday are restricted trading periods in NSW, which means non-exempt businesses cannot trade.
Queensland has an intricate layer of trading hour laws which mean traders in one part of the state must observe different rules to others.
Independent retail shops that aren’t food and grocery retailers also aren’t completely exempt in Queensland and must close on Good Friday.
South Australia’s retail trading laws are also a little difficult to grasp with location, size of shop and retail category all affecting whether a business can open for trading, and how long it can stay open.
There’s also a long list of exempt retailers, again depending on store size and location.
In general, most retailers will have to close on Good Friday and observe a 5pm closure on Saturday.
Non-exempt metro businesses will have to remain closed throughout Easter Sunday, while those in the CBD must observe 11am to 5pm hours.
Easter Monday will be 11am to 5pm for most non-exempt retailers.
Small retail shops are exempt from most retail trading restrictions in Western Australia.
A small retail shop is “owned by up to six people who operate no more than four retail shops, in which up to 25 people work at any one time”.
There’s also a list of specialty retail shops, also exempt from most trading restriction, including pharmacies, newsagents, and hardware, boating and craft shops.
The trading hour laws also don’t cover restaurants, cafe’s, takeaway food shops and short-term markets.
Non-exempt retailers must close on Good Friday.
Easter Saturday hours for businesses in the Perth metropolitan area are 8.00am to 5:.00pm and 11.00am to 5.00pm on Sunday.
Tasmania observes a public holiday on Tuesday over Easter, but not one on Saturday or Sunday.
Good Friday, Easter Monday are public holidays but trading for small businesses isn’t restricted in this state over Easter.
For further information on Easter trading hour restrictions head to the government website in your applicable state.