The NSW government has announced it will hand out $100 vouchers in an effort to spur an economic recovery in the hospitality, entertainment and tourism sectors.
The vouchers, first mentioned in a preliminary budget outline have been confirmed by the state government in the form of its ‘Out and About’ scheme that are designed to “stimulate the NSW economy and keep businesses in business,” according to the NSW state government.
The government says that the vouchers can be used at eligible NSW businesses and venues that are registered as COVID safe, and will be divided into two categories. There will be two separate $25 vouchers that can be used at restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, while the remaining two vouchers can be used at cinemas, performing arts facilities and cultural institutions.
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In total, the government is offering $100 worth of vouchers to spur an economic recovery in industries that have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, at a cost of $500 million.
The state government is set to introduce a trail of the program across Sydney’s CBD throughout December as a pilot program before it is rolled out across NSW in “early 2021.” Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello has said that the CBD trail will help to identify any of the scheme’s teething issues, and enforce COVID-safe practices from businesses taking part.
Dominello has said that “we must be COVID smart as well as COVID safe and the success of this program will depend upon people continuing to follow the rules.”
Reports state that “the government will also look at limiting the use of the dining vouchers to less busy days such as Monday to Thursday to better manage COVID-19 restrictions.”
The $100 vouchers mimic a previously implemented scheme in the UK that subsidised as much as 50% of a diner’s meal, if they chose to dine out on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Every NSW citizen over the age of 18 will receive the vouchers in digital form, delivered directly to their Service NSW mobile phone application.
State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has said that “we want to encourage people to open up their wallets and contribute to the stimulus effect.”
“The dining and entertainment industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic and I would encourage people to utilise this scheme once it is up and running and to make sure they spend a bit extra on the way through, too.”
“We will generate momentum in the short term, then reinforce our finances with the discipline that has defined our time in office,” Perottet said in reference to the Berijiklian government’s fiscal management.
How to Sign Up to the Out and About Scheme For Businesses
The government says that in order to get your business involved in the program, you must have an implemented and proven COVID-safe plan, and be registered as a COVID-safe business by state authorities. From there, business owners must set up a MyServiceNSW business profile, have valid bank account, ABN and GST registrations, and operate in one of the “eligible industries,” which the government says it will confirm shortly.
How to Sign up for Customers
To receive your four Out & About digital vouchers, you must download and sign up to the government’s MyServiceNSW application, where you can download your vouchers. Vouchers will automatically be updated to your account, and can only be used once for purchases that do not include tobacco or alcohol.
The vouchers will be made available in early 2021, according to the government.