Four $25 vouchers will be given to every NSW person older than 18 to spend in support of the arts and hospitality industries

I welcome last week's announcement in the Budget that NSW residents will be given $100 worth of digital vouchers that can be used at eateries and on arts and tourism attractions across NSW.

The vouchers were part of a flagship $500 million program to help business, stimulate the state's economy and support local jobs.

The Out & About program is designed to boost businesses hit hard by the pandemic, by encouraging people to get out and enjoy the best of NSW.

No industry has felt the economic impacts of COVID-19 more than the hospitality, arts and tourism industries.

Every NSW resident aged 18 and older will be eligible for four $25 vouchers with the program designed to encourage people to spend multiple times to support their local businesses.

Two vouchers can be used for eating in at venues such as restaurants, cafes, clubs and other food service venues, and two vouchers can be used for entertainment and recreation, such as cultural institutions, performing arts, cinemas, and amusement parks.

Service NSW will operate a pilot scheme in December for the Sydney CBD before launching Out & About across NSW in the new year.

Vouchers will not be redeemable for tobacco, alcohol or gambling. For more information visit www.nsw.gov.au or call my office on 6584 0977.

Support to small business

$1500 worth of digital vouchers will help tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses pay for government fees and charges.

Up to $500 million has been allocated in the 2020-21 NSW Budget for the new vouchers to ease financial pressure on small businesses.

The initiative will provide a critical cash injection for smaller businesses below the payroll tax threshold. These new digital vouchers will be of huge benefit to the many entrepreneur and mum and dad businesses across NSW.

The vouchers will be available from April 2021, which is when many licence fee waivers will expire, along with the end of JobKeeper, and they will no doubt be a very helpful boost at a critical time.

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