LOCAL publicans and business leaders have backed a $100 voucher scheme to get locals out and about and spending.
Everyone over the age of 18, no matter where they live in NSW, will be given $100 in vouchers to use on food and entertainment - and it can't come soon enough in Gunnedah.
Gunnedah Hotel owner Luke Prout said it was a "brilliant idea", especially after many small businesses took huge hits during the pandemic.
"It's fantastic, especially seeing as domestic travel and domestic tourism is going to be key to keeping the economy going, due to a lack of international tourism. It's a great way for the money to be spread far and wide," Mr Prout said.
"It's great the NSW government is wanting to invest in restarting the NSW economy or at least accelerating the NSW economy.
"It will hopefully help some of those families who are doing it tough that can go out and do something they can afford in these tough times."
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said the vouchers would encourage Gunnedah residents to "be out and about to support those businesses that need their patronage".
"The implementation of this program, or these vouchers, can certainly go a long way to stimulate that sector of our community and bolster employment back to normal numbers," Cr Chaffey told the NVI.
Mr Prout said it was great that the vouchers could also help the entertainment industry.
"The entertainment industry has taken the biggest hit out of any body and there has been very little support from the government in regards to that so hopefully the vouchers will trickle down and get a lot of use in the entertainment industry," he said.
The state government's new vouchers, as part of its $500 million Out and About scheme, will be available to all NSW residents over the age of 18 from late January 2021.
Each NSW resident will receive four vouchers worth $25 each; two of which can be spent on food at restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, and two can be used for activities like visiting cultural institutions, performing arts, cinemas and amusement parks.
Vouchers will not be redeemable for tobacco, alcohol or gambling.
Vouchers can be spent at participating COVID-safe businesses, and will be accessible via the Service NSW app.
More information about the vouchers can be found at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/out-about-vouchers