Giving $100 worth of digital vouchers to all NSW residents to use at eateries and on arts and tourism attractions across the state, has been welcomed across the board.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the $500 million Out & About program was designed to boost businesses hit hard by the pandemic, by encouraging people to get out and enjoy the best of NSW.
Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total - with the program designed to encourage people to spend multiple times to support their local businesses.
Two vouchers can be used for eating in at venues such as restaurants and cafes, and two vouchers can be used for entertainment and recreation, such as at cinemas and amusement parks.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said Service NSW would operate a pilot of the scheme throughout December in the Sydney CBD.
"Applying for a voucher will be simple and easy and made available via the Service NSW app. We must be COVID smart as well as COVID safe and the success of this program will depend upon people continuing to follow the rules," Mr Dominello said.
"This program is ambitious and the first of its kind in Australia. The Government will run a pilot scheme to make sure we can iron-out any issues before launching Out & About across NSW in the new year."
The Illawarra Business Chamber also welcomed the 'Out and About' scheme, which will provide $100 worth of vouchers for adults to spend on food services and at cultural institutions in the new year.
"This stimulus is well directed to two sectors in desperate need of increased consumer spending, which we hope will build on a busy holiday season and encourage consumers to spend a little more and help sustain small businesses doing it tough," IBC executive director Adam Zarth said.
He added the budget announced on Tuesday contained welcome support for local small businesses and much-needed investment in transformative infrastructure to grow the regional economy.
"It is great to have two key items that we have fought hard for at the centre of this budget; namely the upgrade of Picton Road and further payroll tax relief for businesses," Mr Zarth said.
"This Budget will be well received by all those local business people and representatives that joined our Picton Road Motorway Coalition campaign because they believe our economic future lies in south-western Sydney and they rely on that road operationally.
"The announcement of $44 million to fund the business case for the upgrade of Picton Road is a welcome reward for our collective efforts on the campaign, however we are still seeking progress on the vital Mt Ousley Interchange upgrade and will continue to pursue it."
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