Personal services businesses, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, in Victoria have welcomed a 481 per cent increase in sales in their first weekend post-lockdown compared with the previous weekend, according to CBA merchant terminal data.

Victorian hairdressers and barber shops saw the biggest spike (700 per cent increase) alongside remedial massage businesses (556 per cent increase) and health and beauty spas (526 per cent increase).

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In a strong sign that Melbourne is getting ready to celebrate an easing in the lockdown restrictions, another personal services category enjoying a boom in demand was formal wear rentals, which recorded a 628 per cent increase compared with the previous weekend.

CBA Group Executive, Business Banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle said: “It’s brilliant to see Victoria re-open and businesses and their customers enjoy some well-deserved spending, both small and big, to help build up to the Christmas and holiday period.

“With the NSW economy in its third week of opening and Victoria entering its first week, businesses in the holiday and recreational industry  are seeing increased bookings.”

Victorian hotels and motels have also started to enjoy the benefits of eased restrictions with a 26 per cent increase in turnover this past weekend compared with the previous weekend, driven by bookings in regional areas.

NSW has seen a similar trend, with turnover in hotels and motels in regional areas up 23 per cent week on week (11-17 October with 18-24 October 2021).    

“We’ve heard from our small business customers that they are feeling optimistic and excited to get back to what they love doing best,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

“At the same time, we know it can be a huge adjustment for many business owners. We want you to thrive and we’re here to support your business needs. We have 24/7 support and a range of resources to help you with everything from preparing a business plan, to navigating through reopening, to managing cash flow and maximising social media opportunities.”

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* Data based on VIC CBA merchants data (terminals and eCommerce) from 16-17 October 2021 (inclusive) compared with 23-24 October 2021 (inclusive). The NSW data refers to merchant terminal data comparing 11-17 October 2021 (inclusive) compared with 18–24 October 2021 (inclusive).