ACT Government introduces $40-a-day in discounts to encourage spending on Canberra businesses
Vouchers worth up to $40 a day will be handed out to Canberrans in the weeks before Christmas, in a bid by the ACT Government to boost spending at local businesses during the coronavirus recession.
In two weeks, the ACT Government will begin giving customers five digital discount vouchers of varying value to spend at participating businesses, which will renew each day.
The program is part of an initial trial running between December 9 and December 21, or until the $500,000 allocated to the program is used up.
Here’s how it works.
How do I get my discount?
From today, anyone over 18 can sign up on the ChooseCBR website. As businesses sign up they’ll start appearing on a registry of participating merchants.
Then, from December 9 you’ll be given five discount vouchers each day, which you can use when you buy from participating businesses.
The five daily vouchers will need to be used at different businesses in order to spread the spending love, and will have minimum spending limits on them.
|Voucher value||Minimum spend|
You won’t be able to use the vouchers on tobacco, gambling or alcohol, but you will be able to use vouchers for a discount on the food portion of your bill if you order alcohol with a meal.
Business Minister Tara Cheyne said the system was based on a similar program that ran in Darwin, and that the vouchers would be accessible online.
“When you sign up on the website and then load the website, each day the vouchers will be available to you. You can then click on the voucher and then show it to the participating business,” she said.
Which businesses can I spend it on?
The eligibility criteria for businesses is a bit tighter than it is for customers, but the Government estimates about 2,000 businesses across the city will be eligible.
In order to participate the business needs to:
- Have a physical shopfront (no online-only stores)
- Have been on JobKeeper at some point this year
- Be in the retail, tourism, accommodation, arts, recreation, personal services or hospitality sector
- Have less than $10 million turnover per annum
As businesses sign up between now and the start of the program, they’ll appear on the ChooseCBR business directory.
During the ACT election campaign, the ACT Government committed $2.5 million to a voucher scheme, and Ms Cheyne said she hoped the $500,000 pre-Christmas trial would prove successful, hinting at more discounts to come next year.
“What I’d be hoping is that it’s a successful trial and that we see a really high take-up both from businesses and from the Canberra community and indeed the visiting community,” she said.
“We can make a decision next year about doing it again, and potentially doing it at a time when there might not be such a generous spend in the community.”
A similar scheme was announced in the NSW Budget last week, which will see residents there given four $25 vouchers to spend on food, arts and entertainment.