Retail Trading Update

Published on Thursday, 28 September 2023 at 12:00:00 AM

The Shire of Esperance was recently offered a temporary adjustment to retail trading hours over the 2023/24 December / January holiday period and all public holidays throughout the 2024 calendar year. This package from the State Government is already in place in the Metropolitan area.

Council chose not to take up this proposal for the following reasons:

  • Concerns around trading during the slower, winter period.
  • The impact this may have on smaller businesses.
  • Felt that 12 months was too long to commit to without proper consultation with business owners and our community.

A permanent change to retail trading hours, providing additional trading hours in the lead-up to Christmas for the Shire, was made in 2014. An application for a temporary adjustment to retail trading hours for the Post-Christmas – February holiday season will now commence. This process includes approval from the Esperance Chamber of Commerce, endorsement from Council and then approval from the Department of Commerce, a process undertaken for the past 3 years.

Retailers identified as ‘Small Retail Shops’ can already trade 24 hours a day, every day of the year provided they have applied for a certificate. With 98% of businesses in Esperance being designated as “small business”, there is only a small percentage of retailers that have their operating hours limited by their size.

But the question remains, should we be permanently extending retail trading hours given the continuing increase in tourism numbers? The Shire of Esperance will be reaching out to business owners, tourism operators and the public to see what the desire is for a permanent change to the retail trading hours over December, January and Easter period. This consultation is kicking off at the Esperance Show and will be open for 6 weeks. Information will be released on the 20 October, so please read up and give your feedback.

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