Regional retailers have suffered due to loss of show days and agricultural fairs

The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed today’s announcement from the State Government to shift the annual Ekka Wednesday Holiday to Friday August 14 to create a long weekend.

The move comes after Brisbane City Council and the NRA yesterday proposed a one-off long weekend in August to encourage Brisbane locals to tour their own city in a bid to reduce the economic hit from the cancellation of the 2020 Ekka.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said it was a common sense move and urged Brisbane residents to make the most of the long weekend.

“Each year the Ekka provides a giant economic boost to Brisbane with tourist dollars flowing in from the bush. The cancellation of the 2020 show threatens to make a further dent in the local economy, including in retail.

“A Friday public holiday will provide Brisbane locals with the opportunity to make the most of the weekend. It will also give retailers confidence that it is economically viable to open their doors for the day as busy trade will mean they can afford the penalty rates.

“Subject to the relevant social distancing laws that will be in place in August, we would urge South-East Queensland residents to get out and about that long weekend. This means support local businesses, visit hospitality hotspots such as Southbank or Howard Smith Wharves, or take the family away for a weekend holiday.”