The region’s peak business organisation, Business Hunter says the extension of the popular NSW initiative, ‘Dine & Discover’, will boost the recovery of the hospitality and entertainment industries as it emerges from lockdown.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes, welcomed the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s announcement of a further two $25 vouchers that would be available to citizens from December, while businesses can apply for grants to make their dining venue more ‘al fresco’ friendly.
“The Hunter has seen a lot of success come out of the Dine & Discover program, and this extension will drive further activity into the hospitality sector at a time it is most needed,” said Mr Hawes.
“We also know that people are spending more than the $25 that the voucher provides, meaning businesses are not only benefitting from the stimulus, but are also boosting income driven by the customer incentive,” Mr Hawes said.
“The hospitality and entertainment sectors have suffered immensely over the past two years, and this support will encourage people to get out and about during the Summer months and enjoy what their local venues and businesses have to offer.
“We’re also aware there are businesses and members of the community yet to register under the program and encourage them to do so given the entitlement allows six vouchers or $150 per person.
“Part of the package announced by the Government is for hospitality businesses to be provided $5,000 in grants to expand alfresco dining, where red tape will be cut to revive local street dining.
“It’s important to note that these grants are limited to 5,000 businesses on a first in first served basis, so I would encourage those businesses who fit the criteria to get their application in as soon as possible.
“We’ll make sure we share the details and criteria for applying for these grants as soon as the government finalises the details.
Business Hunter can also confirm that funds are being directed to Local Governments to activate outdoor spaces and streetscapes to encourage more outside patronage.
“Local Councils have a huge part to play in the revitalization of their local business communities, and the Government will also provide funds directly to Councils to improve their high streets and surrounding areas.
“Businesses are enthusiastic about the coming months as people return to their favourite cafes and restaurants, and this support will help a number of smaller businesses get back on their feet and boost employment opportunities,” Mr Hawes said.