Blue Mountains venues have welcomed a NSW government scheme to give every adult $100 to spend on dining and entertainment.
The state government announced the $500 million stimulus package in Tuesday's budget, putting four $25 food and entertainment vouchers in the hands of NSW adults. The program will be trialled in Sydney's CBD next month ahead of a wider roll-out across the state.
Blue Mountains Theatre manager, Tim Smith, greeted the initiative with enthusiasm.
"We are very excited by the offer of $25 entertainment vouchers to everyone aged over 18 years from the NSW government," he said.
"It's a fantastic incentive to get people back into theatres and entertainment venues. We will be liaising with council to implement this NSW Service voucher system for the theatre, and hope to roll this out in 2021 for our patrons."
James Howarth, the owner of restaurant Leura Garage, thought the scheme was a great idea.
"Any initiative that gets people out there spending... is a good way to go. It's good to put money back into the local economy," he said.
The popular restaurant lost half its revenue in the last financial year as a result of the bushfires, floods and the coronavirus pandemic, so any incentive to encourage people to spend was welcome, especially after the JobSeeker and JobKeeper supplements end.
"We don't want people sitting at home eating noodles, we want them out and about," Mr Howarth said.
In the Megalong Valley, Dryridge Estate owner Emma MacMahon said the initiative would benefit those who couldn't afford to eat out, while improving people's mental health by getting out and about again.
"A lot of people are struggling to go out and about and enjoy life and that's so important for mental health and wellbeing," she said.
The 'Out and About' vouchers will be delivered via the Service NSW mobile app.
"We want to encourage people to open up their wallets and contribute to the stimulus effect," said NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.