‘It’s the butchers, the bakers and the chemists.’

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Deregulation of trading hours in South Australia will kill small businesses, warns one National Registered Employer Industry Association

MGA Independent Retailers is warning that the deregulation of trading hours in SA will “seriously impact the viability of small businesses throughout the state”.

It says calls for deregulation might benefit the growth of chains but family enterprises and private businesses – including pharmacies – will “inevitably suffer heavy losses” if deregulation takes place.

“We are fully aware of the struggle faced by independent retailers to keep their heads above water, as they fight to combat the might of the chains,” says MGA CEO Jos de Bruin.

He says MGA strongly supports its South Australian members and local association, South Australian Independent Retailers, in opposing the deregulation of trading hours.

“We have seen Coles and Woolworths gradually expand their power by building more and bigger stores, which in the end just crowd out the little guys to the point of annihilation, all in their own self- interest.

“Currently small retailers are able to trade at times that gives them a small trading advantage and that helps them to survive, but if those times disappear—then so will they!

“We have seen this happen in so many towns and cities all over Australia. The chains get their way and what was once a thriving, tight- knit community, just ceases to exist. High streets become ghost towns.

“Businesses that have been established for decades just disappear and it’s not just the supermarkets. It’s the butchers, the bakers and the chemists.”

“It’s also the professionals who were once supported by small businesses, and the surrounding farms that supply local commodities, they suffer too, because Coles and Woolworths have their support in the big cities and they buy in massive quantities.”

Mr de Bruin says that deregulation of trading hours will not lead to the creation of jobs.

“There won’t be more competition because there won’t be anyone to compete with and there won’t be any Australian local produce because so much will all be imported.

“We need to throw ourselves behind the opposition and stop trading hours deregulation.” 

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