The NSW Government has announced a $500 million stimulus package to help businesses recover from COVID-19, incentivising people to eat out and enjoy the variety of cultural scenes around the state.
Under the Out & About program, NSW residents aged 18 and over will be given $100 worth of digital vouchers that can be used at eateries and on arts and tourism attractions in the state.
The $100 per person will be divided into four vouchers worth $25 each, two of which will be designated for restaurants, cafes, clubs and other foodservice venues.
The remaining two vouchers can be used for entertainment and recreation, such as cultural institutions, performing arts, 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," Minister Dominello said.
"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.
"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."
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the introduction of a four-voucher scheme was to encourage people to open their wallets and spend across a wider range of businesses over an extended time period.
"It's almost time to open the door on 2021 and I can't think of a better way to do that than by encouraging people to support their local businesses through this program," Minister Tudehope said.
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.
"No industry has felt the economic impacts of COVID-19 more than the hospitality, arts and tourism industries," the Treasurer said.
"NSW acted swiftly to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19 and we want to help businesses by encouraging spending within local communities, especially within the hospitality, arts and tourism sectors."
Updated at 5:41pm AEDT on 17 November 2020.