While we are all well and truly done with 2020, we will feel the impacts of COVID-19 and attached restrictions for a long time.
Australian states and territories have each come up with a voucher scheme to help alleviate the detrimental footprint that remains on the economy. These revolve around providing vouchers for registered participants to use at businesses across various industries, predominantly travel and hospitality.
We take a look at each scheme to help determine whether your business is eligible below.
The NSW government is currently trialling its Dine and Discover voucher scheme in various suburbs, including Broken Hill and the Rocks. The official program is expected to launch by March 2021, with four $25 vouchers (two for restaurants, cafes, pubs, etc. accepted between Monday and Thursday, and two for entertainment and recreation accepted any day of the week) made available to registered participants aged 18 and over to use at eligible businesses.
- Have a device that customers can redeem the vouchers on, e.g. an iPad that can download the Service NSW for Business App as the vouchers are QR codes
- have an active ABN and be registered for GST – ensure your details are correct on the Australian Business Register before registering
- operate in NSW
- be registered as COVID Safe and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place
- operate in one of these eligible industries:
- cafés and restaurants
- pubs, taverns, wineries, bars and clubs
- scenic and sightseeing transport
- museums, galleries and historic sites
- zoos, botanic gardens, wildlife parks and nature reserves
- performing arts operations, theatres and entertainment centres
- amusement, theme and water parks
- recreational activities such as go-karting, indoor climbing, mini-golf, billiards, bowling or ice-rinks
- outdoor adventures
- travel agencies and tours.
Business owners can register here.
Note: If you’ve registered for the trial phase, you will need to register again for the official program.
After a successful trial period, the ACT is expected to roll out their ChooseCBR campaign in 2021. The scheme will see registered participants receiving daily discount vouchers to use at a range of Canberran businesses.
- Have a physical shopfront in the ACT; and
- Have received JobKeeper at some point during 2020; and
- Have less than $10 million in turnover per annum; and
- Be in the retail, tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality sectors (as per ANZSIC codes).
- Businesses will need a smart device to log in and redeem the vouchers
Business owners can register here.
Queensland wants kids to get back into community sport, so its voucher program focuses on fitness organisations. Known as the FairPlay voucher scheme, up to $150 will be given to parents to use on their kids at registered activity providers. The program is in its fourth round and closes on March 17, 2021. If you operate a business that meets the eligibility criteria below, you can register and take advantage of the vouchers.
- Provide one or more of the eligible activities in QLD over a minimum of eight weeks
- Have an active ABN and either be a Queensland sport and active recreation organisation affiliated with one of the listed State or National Level Organisations, or
- one of the listed Queensland State or National level sporting organisation, a Queensland not-for-profit sport or recreation organisation, or a not-for-profit community organisation (providing physical activity as a part of its programs)
- Have and maintain suitable public liability and team/participant insurance
- Meet the Queensland Blue Card requirements for persons working with children
Businesses can register here.
Victoria suffered significantly in 2020, experiencing the longest lockdown in Australia. Regional tourism operators took a hit from the state-wide pause, so Victoria rolled out the Regional Travel Voucher Scheme, allowing participating residents to use a voucher on regional accommodation, experiences, tours and attractions. There have already been two rounds featuring eligible travel periods and claim/cut-off dates, however, it is not yet known how much money has been injected into the economy.
There is no need to register if you are a regional Victorian business owner as participants spend their own money and are reimbursed directly.
The state government offered $100 vouchers for residents to explore regional WA via their Wander Out Yonder campaign, however, the scheme has now finished with no word on another wave of vouchers. It is believed the program injected around $2 million into the state's economy.
The Northern Territory is up to Round 3 in its Territory Tourism voucher scheme, where each participant can claim up to $200 when travelling more than 400km from a permanent residence. Like the Victoria scheme, participants are reimbursed directly, so regional businesses will benefit without registering.
Round 1 generated $9.6 million for the tourism industry, with the two additional rounds still recording results.
South Australia brought back their voucher scheme at the start of the year, which allows registered users to claim $100 and $50 vouchers for hotel stays in the state. All vouchers have been exhausted, with accommodation providers already registered.
The first round of vouchers injected almost $10 million into the South Australian economy, with the second round expected to follow a similar trend.