Dine and Discover a boost for Hunter businesses

Dine and Discover a boost for Hunter businesses

The Hunter Business Chamber has encouraged regional businesses to register for the Dine and Discover scheme as the program begins to roll out across the Hunter.

It is estimated that $50 million worth of vouchers are be issued across the region.

With some Hunter residents having already claimed their vouchers from Service NSW, Chamber CEO Bob Hawes says eligible businesses should waste no time registering for the scheme.

The scheme provides every NSW resident aged 18 or over with four $25 vouchers to be redeemed at local businesses on tourism, arts, entertainment and dining experiences.

“When we urged local businesses to register a month ago, there was a spike in registrations from our region, but advice we have received from Service NSW this week suggested the sign-up rate had slowed,” Bob said.

“As of earlier this month, for instance, only 90 businesses in Lake Macquarie had registered for the scheme – and we know there must be many more eligible businesses than that in the area.”

The rollout of vouchers to consumers has begun in the Hunter, with residents of some areas having already claimed their vouchers online this week.

The Hunter Business Chamber estimates that the scheme will inject around $50 million into the Hunter economy, based on the number of eligible residents across the region.

“Most customers are likely to spend much more than the voucher provides,” Bob said.

“The Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, told business owners at a recent webinar hosted by Business NSW that residents were spending, on average, around $42 when using one of their four Dine and Discover vouchers.

“An increase in spending of that magnitude would see the $50 million face value of vouchers in our area converted into a boost of nearly $85 million for our regional economy.”

Bob said the injection of cash would come at a good time, with visitor economy businesses among the most vulnerable to the imminent end of JobKeeper this month.

“A recent Business NSW survey of NSW tourism businesses shows the NSW visitor economy is set for massive job losses, cuts to hours for existing staff and businesses permanently closing once the direct financial support provided by JobKeeper ends,” Bob said.

“Up to a third of businesses fear closure, while 42 per cent indicated they are likely to be forced to reduce staff numbers and more than half expecting to have to cut hours for existing staff.

“Residents can spend their vouchers on dine-in meals, sightseeing trips, museum and art gallery visits, live shows, adventure activities and much more.

“It’s money for nothing – for consumers and businesses – so everyone should get involved.”

Eligible businesses and residents can register through the Service NSW website or app.

IMAGE | Dine and Discover scheme to inject over $50 million into the local economy.

Business Hunter

Business Hunter is the new name for the organisation formerly known as the Hunter Business Chamber. We are the largest regional peak business group in Australia, representing members across all business and industry sectors. Business Hunter is a not-for-profit member organisation dedicated to connecting people in business with what they need to succeed.

We have been the voice of business in the Hunter since 1886. Our members are part of a network of more than 2,500 businesses across the region. That network includes members of 20 aligned local chambers across 10 local government areas, stretching from the Mid North Coast to Lake Macquarie and inland to Scone. From main-street retailers to ASX 100 corporates, our member businesses power Australia's strongest regional economy. 

The name Business Hunter was adopted in February 2020 to better reflect the vibrant and diverse businesses the organisation represents. The new name also aligns with our affiliates Business NSW and Business Australia.

Business Hunter has been through a number of name changes; what has never changed is our commitment to helping our members do business better, to drive growth and prosperity in the Hunter region.

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