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The happy shops of Hawthorn hail surprise election result

“I’m happy with where the results are at from last night. I think it will be good for business,” Carey says.

“A lot of our customers today in this area in particular, a lot are Liberal voters. They’re shocked but happy.

“Plenty of conversation in this area was to do with franking credits, for example. If a Labor government got in a lot of people had set their lives up to retire and live off that income. All that talk removes confidence in everything.

“We still see people spending but you need that extra bit of comfort to do it.

“They could get their franking credits cut and all of a sudden they might not think they can afford their holiday or car or other spending.”

Business at the cafe is “good” and Carey is happy with how things are going despite how sluggish the retail sector remains.

Shade Cafe took over from previous tenants, a Greek restaurant, in September last year because 60 per cent of its business was coming through UberEats, and they couldn’t justify renting such a big, expensive space.

“People aren’t forced to go out,” Carey said.

“The amount of UberEats coffees we do is amazing, it’s crazy. It’s hard to get people out of the house.

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“You might get repeat customers but there is no sense of community in that transaction.

“Consumer spending is down. Around events like Easter or Mother’s Day or a long weekend and you see how people budget their money. They won’t go out for a second coffee or lunch or breakfast after the initial celebration or event, for example.”

Down the road Bill Fortune – who has owned skate, scooter and accessory shop Blade Worx for 26-years – reckons Bill Shorten spooked small business owners like him.

“Apart from the fact that it always seemed to me that Bill Shorten was un-electable, Labor frightened people like me with terms like ‘wage theft’,” Mr Fortune said.

“That’s kind of like they’re going after small business. Nearly everyone is connected to small business in some way. That was pretty foolish. So they set themselves up for the fearmongering that the Liberal Party is good at.

Labor's rhetoric toward business was not helpful to their cause, according to businessman Bill Fortune.

Labor’s rhetoric toward business was not helpful to their cause, according to businessman Bill Fortune. Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

“That’s even though there were many people that wanted Labor’s change. Labor always leads change.”

Mr Fortune said turnover at his shop remains good but governments could do more to help bring down the cost of operating a retail business.

“There needs to be lower rents,” he said.

“The wage structure we are having to deal with here is not really viable, when you look at operating a business elsewhere the cost of employing people as a percentage of gross profit is less. Here it is a burden. That and increasing rents are the two big things. And paying accounting bills and compliance things like that.

“People are still willing to spend money but the pricing is difficult. We are often called upon to match an online price. It’s tough to make a dollar.”

Anthony is a reporter at The Age.

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