Dinner’s on us – State Government

Chef Daniel at Baker St

The State Budget, handed down on November 17, saw local businesses win big, with all NSW residents aged over 18 to receive vouchers valued at $100 to be used at any eateries, arts, and tourist attractions across the state.

The $500M Out & About program, which will start in 2021, is designed to encourage people to spend multiple times to support their local businesses.

Every eligible resident will receive four $25 vouchers.

Two can be used at venues such as restaurants, cafes, clubs and other foodservice venues, and the other two for entertainment and recreation.

Owner of Gosford restaurant Baker Street, Chef Daniel, said the $50 which can be spent at eateries is just the beginning.

“I think the important thing that cafes and restaurants should take away from this is that it is not just $50, it is $50 to draw customers in, and then they are able to upsell some of their products,” Chef Daniel said.

“It is $50 more than people will have in their pocket, which will add a little boost to go and out and spend money.

“I think it is an amazing scheme because every little bit helps.

“It is nice to see that they are not only focussing on the restaurants and cafes, but they are also focusing on arts and tourism.

“It is great to try and join us together under the same scheme and bring people together, plus get them out of the home.”

Parliamentary Security for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the initiative with help stimulates businesses in the area.

“The $100 worth of out and about vouchers is brilliant because it allows us to support our local businesses, cafes and restaurants, tourist sites and cultural attraction,” Crouch said.

“It is a win-win for the Central Coast.

“We can use these vouchers in our own area but so can people visiting the area.

“It will create that stimulus that our local businesses need to continue through the festive season.

Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, said Service NSW would operate a pilot of the scheme throughout December in the Sydney CBD.

“Applying for a voucher will be simple and easy and made available via the Service NSW app,” Dominello said.

“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.

“This program is ambitious and the first of its kind in Australia.

“The Government will run a pilot scheme to make sure we can iron-out any issues before launching Out & About across NSW in the new year.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business, Damien Tudehope, said the introduction of a four-voucher scheme was to encourage people to open their wallets and spend across a wider range of businesses over an extended time period.

“It’s almost time to open the door on 2021, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by encouraging people to support their local businesses through this program,” Tudehope said.

Vouchers will not be redeemable for tobacco, alcohol or gambling.

For more information, visit www.nsw.gov.au.

Jacinta Counihan

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