Dine & Discover…if you can
A NSW government initiative aims to stimulate the economy by giving eligible residents four $25 vouchers to spend at participating businesses. However, there’s a catch, as the scheme is not available everywhere and will wrap up at the end of June.
The Dine & Discover scheme provides eligible NSW residents with four $25 vouchers, two of which can be used to buy food and two that can be used for experiences such as seeing a film.
NSW residents aged 18 and over can apply for the vouchers, worth $100 in total. The vouchers cannot be used to buy alcohol or tobacco and do not apply to online-only services, takeaway, and food delivery orders.
Residents can receive the vouchers via Service NSW’s website or the Service NSW app. The vouchers have been rolled out to different suburbs and localities after the initial launch of the program was delayed.
However, with news that only 10 percent of the vouchers have been taken up, there have been calls to extend the life of the program beyond its June deadline.
The program has also been criticised for having too much of a focus on businesses in cities and major rural centres, with some people needing to drive hundreds of kilometres to make it to participating businesses.
Jim Griffiths is a Grenfell resident. He told the ABC that he will need to spend his four $25 vouchers in Sydney, as there are no businesses in his own town that are registered with the scheme.
“It’s unfortunate I can’t spend it in the local area because the program’s been made with a city-centric focus,” Mr Griffiths said.
Sam Tooley, the Director of the South Coast Food & Wine Festival has welcomed the scheme, however.
“The Dine & Discover vouchers are a much-needed boost to the many businesses in regional NSW,” he said.
“Tourism, events and hospitality businesses have done it tough for the past 18 months with bushfires, floods and COVID affecting many businesses.”
To register for the Dine & Discover vouchers, visit the Service NSW website. The scheme finishes on 30 June 2021.
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