Making the Friday before the AFL grand final a public holiday in Victoria could cost businesses at least $1 billion in lost revenue and a further $500 million in wages, a business lobby group says.
A survey by the Australian Industry Group (AIG) shows three quarters of local businesses would not open their doors on Football Friday.
“There should be no doubt Football Friday is bad news for the state and its businesses,” AIG Victoria director Tim Piper said on Monday.
The proposed September or October public holiday was a Labor pre-election promise, with the state government beginning public consultations in July.
The Victorian government is expected to make Football Friday official once the consultation period ends in August.
Almost 80 per cent of manufacturers told AIG they would close that day, and 72 per cent of services and construction businesses said they would do the same.
Businesses would also have to pay $500 million in wages, the AIG report said.
“That’s a headache, not a holiday,” Mr Piper said.