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Frustrated Aussie boss criticises Queen's public holiday: 'Angry and over it'

·3-min read

A small business owner from Sydney has joined a slew of others in their criticism of a one-off public holiday to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 22.

Natalie Ferrari, who founded The Parlour Room 10 years ago, hit out at the decision saying the move will increase pressure on already struggling establishments.

The 34-year-old mum said the public holiday set for September 22 lands on the busiest day of the week for her two Clovelly salons.

“As if the current situation for small businesses wasn’t bad enough, now they want to throw a public holiday into the mix…on the busiest day of the week for appointments too,” she wrote.

Natalie Ferrari and her Instagram note criticising the Queen's public holiday.
Natalie Ferrari said the Queen's public holiday will place more pressure on already struggling small businesses. Source: Natalie Ferrari/Instagram

“Now we’re forced to pay double rates to our staff or cancel clients who we have no where to reschedule to, as we are so incredibly understaffed as is.

“Either way it will be a cost that yet again we are just left to wear. I’m angry, and I’m over it.”

In an interview with Yahoo News Australia, Ms Ferrari explained her business is already struggling after losing a large number of international staff members during Covid.

Public holiday should be on a Monday, business owner says

Normally they would have up to 18 people on staff, but currently have just seven beauticians — and no bites on numerous costly job advertisements.

Also, because The Parlour Covelly is a service-based business, it can’t just close its doors for the day.

“We have a number of clients booked in, including bridal appointments,” she said.

“We don’t want to let any of our clients down so we have to stay open, so our only choice is to be fair to our staff and pay holiday rates.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday. Source: AAP
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the public holiday will be held on September 22. Source: AAP

Ms Ferrari said that while she supports setting aside a day for Aussies to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, she argues that it would be better suited for businesses if it fell on a Monday, when many are already closed.

“And maybe a bit more notice would have been better,” she said.

“I know it’s just one day and we’ll get through it, but it’s just one thing after the other.

“The hardest part is the staffing, we just keep losing them and not finding new ones to replace them so the business can’t grow.”

Small businesses to take brunt of public holiday

Her comments come after Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra revealed small business owners typically take the brunt of public holiday trading.

“This event will create some complications for businesses, with store closures and staff scheduling challenges, with many rosters set up weeks in advance,” he said.

“There will also be a small but unexpected loss of trade, and additional staffing costs, which may impact cash flows for small businesses.

“Store opening and closing directions are typically established by the states and territories, and we look forward to their direction today so retailers can plan accordingly.”

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