After a two year trial, the government had declared state-wide Boxing Day trading is here to stay.
NSW Business Chamber regional manager of the New England North West, Joe Townsend, said the government’s “piecemeal policy” approach towards Boxing Day meant that while businesses in Sydney’s CBD were cashing in, those in the local region were missing out.
“Feedback from our small, medium and large retail members clearly showed there were big benefits to opening on Boxing Day and they absolutely want to be able to continue to trade,” Mr Townsend said.
“This change that will help regional business across the New England North West catch the Boxing Day buzz, providing more jobs and business opportunities.”
Mr Townsend said towns such as Uralla were certain to cash in on the opportunity, as families travel and enjoy the boutique communities on the public holiday.
Uralla’s Caffee Gusto opened up for last year’s Boxing Day and owner Ross Burnet said he’d make the call about this year close to the date.
“It depends a on what else is available,” Mr Burnet said.
“We like to make sure there is at least one cafe open in Uralla.
“If no one else is open, we try to open.”
Tamworth’s Lemon House owner Kathy Keating said she’d kept the shop closed on Boxing Day for the past two years.
“We’ll sit down and work out if it’s worth opening or not in next couple months,” Ms Keating said
“It would probably have to be something where a few different shops open up.
“All the businesses along [the north part of Peel Street] would have to get together and say if we’re all in or all out.
“If just one shop opens up, it’s not going to pull anyone down to this end of the street.”
Just Irresistible owner Kylie Maizey echoed Ms Keating’s comments.
“It would depend, if there were a lot of businesses that did open up and trade it would be something worth considering,” Ms Maizey said.
“I’d have to ask my fellow retailers and shops, and see what they’re doing.
“When Christmas draws closer, I’ll ask my customers and find out what they want to see.”
The Australia Retailer Association says last years’ Boxing Day sales came in at nearly $800 million in NSW, up from $741 million in 2015.