Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Why close down?

I was surprised to see a report, click here to read it, stating that thousands of small businesses have decided to shut down for two weeks over the Christmas period to save on their electricity bills.

I can’t believe that small businesses would close to business because they want to reduce their electricity bill. After all the biggest liability for most businesses is payroll and they still have to pay their employees during the shutdown period. There is no doubt that things do slow down over Christmas and businesses know that it is going to be their quietest time of year (besides retailers and airports of course). They know that a large portion of their employees will take holiday anyway and allot of their clients will shut down over the Christmas period.

Current legislation dictates that permanent employees are entitled to 24 days holiday each year. All small business owners and managers know how frustrating it is to have employees request holiday during busy periods. By closing down for two weeks over Christmas the small business owner gets to ensure that at least 10 of each employees 24 days statutory holidays are taken over the quietest period of the year.

Companies closing down over the Christmas period has never been a contentious issue as it corresponds with school holidays, a time of year when extended families want to come together and pretty much everyone wants to get out of England to a warmer climate or at least go skiing. The fact is that even though they don’t really have a say in it, employees want to be on holiday over the Christmas period.

Now I may or may not believe all I have just argued, but I think it is allot more believable than small businesses are shutting down for two weeks to save electricity. One other thing that caught my attention in this very week article was the photo comparing traffic across Westminster Bridge this December with a December day a few years ago. The picture they have chosen to demonstrate a past December day was the ‘last ride’ parade of the 159 Routemaster bus. You can even see the police motorcycle escorts in the photo!

Silver Saints decided to stay open to business this Christmas and we have been very busy. Most likely because many of our competitors have closed down until 5th Jan.

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