NSW Government to distribute $100 vouchers to get Aussies Out & About

The NSW will hand out four $25 vouchers to be spent on dining and entertainment.

The NSW government will be handing out $100 worth of vouchers to be spent on dining and entertainment in a bid to help the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19.

The Out & About (Dine and Discover) voucher scheme will distribute four $25 vouchers to all NSW residents over the age of 18. Two will be designated for restaurants, cafes and clubs, and two for entertainment venues such as cinemas and art galleries.

Importantly, the program does not allow for spending on retail products, alcohol, gambling or cigarettes.

The four vouchers cannot be combined and each voucher is single-use, meaning it will expire even if the cost of the outing is under $25.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the scheme will help revitalise small businesses across NSW, who have seen activity plummet due to social distancing measures and an erosion of consumer confidence. 

“We want to encourage people to open up their wallets and contribute to the stimulus effect,” he said.

“The dining and entertainment industries were among the hardest hit by the pandemic and I would encourage people to use this scheme once it is up and running and to make sure they spend a bit extra on the way through too.”

RELATED: NSW government announces plans to phase out stamp duty

To be eligible for the voucher scheme, businesses must register with Service NSW and be designated COVID-safe.

The vouchers will be made available in early 2021 via the Service NSW mobile app. But a trial of the program is due to commence in the Sydney CBD in December.

The government could also take its cues from similar programs rolled out in the UK, in which use of vouchers is limited to less busy days throughout the week.

Has consumer confidence recovered at all?

The Out & About scheme aims to give small businesses the boost they need to escape the current downturn. But while some segments are still struggling, others are already picking up. 

Commonwealth Bank’s latest Household Spending Intentions (HSI) report reveals that entertainment spending intentions saw an uptick in October, but travel, education, and retail spending intentions continued to flatline.

“Within the recreation sector good increases were seen in spending on boat rentals, bowling alleys, pay TV, digital books-movies-music & games, music stores and video arcades,” said CBA chief economist Stephen Halmarick.

For information about the assistance available to households, along with tips to keep your finances in good health amid the current crisis, browse our guide to coronavirus and your finances.

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