Photo Credit: Randy Heinitz

As many as 92% of business owners in Israel are not interested in keeping their shops open on Shabbat, and 98% stated that they are not asked by their customers to stay open on the Jewish day of rest, according to a new survey released by Israeli business information group CofaceBdi.

The survey covered 135 Israeli businesses spread countrywide, and clearly showed a reluctance on the part of business owners to work on Shabbat, despite calls from secular Israelis to designate Shabbat as a vibrant shopping day.

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While only 8% of business owners said they would like to stay open on Shabbat, almost all the respondents, 98%, said they are not receiving requests from their customers to make their shops available on Shabbat. A mere 2%, about 3 shops, reported hearing from customers that they’d like to shop there on Shabbat.

Interestingly, only 21% of respondents said they would see a rise in their daily income should they stay open on Shabbat. 32% expected their Shabbat income to match their regular days’ yield, and 47% expected to take in less on Shabbat.

The vast majority of respondents said staying closed or open on Shabbat should be left to them to decide, while 19% preferred that the decision be enforced by the authorities.

All of that having been established, 51% of business owners, who mostly don’t want to work on Shabbat, said there should be countrywide public transportation on Shabbat — 49% said there shouldn’t be.

CofaceBdi Co-CEO Tehila Yanai told Ynet that the majority of business owners said they just needed a day off. Others said the kind of traffic that they’d get isn’t worth staying open. A few said they were religious.

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