As Christmas approaches, the New South Wales government is giving out $ 100 in vouchers for each adult to use for food and entertainment as part of the economic stimulus plan announced today.
Four $ 25 coupons will be available on the Service NSW mobile app, in a key New South Wales budget metric aimed at encouraging Sydney residents to reopen their wallets to help push the country out of its $ 16 billion in debt.
But some companies are divided over whether to sign up to accept the scheme, although demand for goods and services has fallen more in New South Wales than in any other state during the pandemic, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Audrey Reyes is a chef at Meraki Merchants in Parramatta and started working there in January.
She says the loyal base of regulars at the cafe has kept them afloat.
“However, people were scared to go out, so we had car delivery for a while,” she says.
“If we didn’t have that, I’m not sure we would have succeeded.
“At the moment, the situation is still calm.”
But its chief, owner Tawfiq al-Shami, does not believe he will participate in the voucher system.
“We are not a restaurant, we are a very community focused place where everyone knows each other,” he says.
“I don’t want someone to come just for a coupon so they can get cheaper food. I don’t want it to be about the economy.
Shami says that although the voucher system is not suitable for his cafe, it will help companies in Parramatta CBD that have already been destroyed.
“That would really help people on Church Street. It’s horrible, it’s a ghost town – these companies definitely need big incentives.”
“People need to trust”
Muhammad Page and his wife Sadia run an Indian fast food restaurant, Copper Handy, in a plaza off Church Street.
They worked there for four years. COVID-19 has seen all dining hall restaurants lose 70 percent of their business this year.
They desperately need more foot traffic.
“You can see that there are no clients. Before that, [from] From 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. this was completely packed. At the moment, the entire mall is empty. “
He said he will subscribe to the scheme once the trial is completed at Sydney CBD.
“I definitely support it. People need some confidence and money to spend because they are so scared. And any incentive is good.”
The Out and About voucher scheme, which will cost $ 500 million, will be piloted next month in Sydney’s CBD before spreading to other parts of the state.
Bill & Toni’s, an Italian joint in Darlinghurst, will be one of the restaurants in the initial experience.
Claude Tropea, General Manager, is supportive of the scheme in the run-up to the vacation.
“I think it will help us fill our reservations as the Christmas time arrives, and we hope with the announcement that Christmas will be busy as usual,” he said.
“People want out. The government seems to be doing the right thing for small businesses and encouraging people to spend their money.
“I think it’s a great start.”
In the regional regions, opinions also differ as life returns to normal.
Harry Barry, the owner of the Coffs Harbor Hotel, said its seven bars are making a comeback in foot traffic, and he is keen to loosen restrictions to serve the increased vacation.
He said, “In fact, the next step on the road to recovery will be when the government says that capacity numbers have risen above 300.”
Two vouchers can be used for food in restaurants, cafes and clubs, while the other two vouchers can be used for leisure activities such as theaters and cinemas.
For live entertainment company owner John Logan, the scheme is a boon.
“I will take money every day of the week and we desperately need it,” he said.
He did a show with the Australian powerhouse Wendy Matthews in Coffs Harbor a little over a week ago, and was amazed it wasn’t a sale.
“People are not rushing to buy tickets like we thought they would,” he said.
“[But] The more we wear it, the more people get used to it and feel more confident. “