The announcement of a new statutory holiday for Nova Scotia in February has raised concerns about what the extra day off will cost businesses.

The province announced Thursday that it plans to start a new statutory holiday for the third Monday in February beginning in 2015. The delay is to allow employers to prepare their finances.

Nancy Conrad, vice-president of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, said businesses can’t afford to pay workers for another day off.

“While in theory a family holiday is appealing, the reality is that our small business community can't really afford any other costs with the economy being still so slow,” she said.

“So for us, it’s really not the right time and probably further evaluation should be done to determine what the actual cost and impact to small business is."  

Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, used Twitter to pan the announcement.

“An early bad decision for a new stat holiday from the N.S. government. It’s fun to play Santa with other people’s money,” he tweeted.

The provincial labour department has estimated the cost to business at about $150 for every employee.

Those who do work the holiday would be entitled to time and a half. Federal employees in Nova Scotia will not get the holiday.