Melbourne Money 3.0

Kaylah Joelle Baker

The “Melbourne Money” program will return to the city and encourage diners back to the CBD’s cafes, bars and restaurants after an additional $10 million round was recently announced by the state government.

The highly successful program works by reimbursing diners at selected venues with part of their bill back.

The Melbourne Money program is part of a $200 million package that the state government announced on February 21.

The various initiatives of the package will go towards the recovery of sectors impacted by the Omicron variant, with a heavy focus on impacted areas in both the city and across the state.

“We’re encouraging Victorians to experience the best the state has to offer by going to see a show, having lunch with friends or visiting somewhere new,” Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula said.

“Business and consumer confidence is critical for our continued economic recovery and that’s why we’re investing in these programs to deliver a boost where it is needed most.”

Out of the original package, $100 million will be going towards voucher schemes that provide rebates for Victorians in entertainment, dining and travel.

Covered in this scheme, $30 million will be going towards food and wine experiences in regional areas and suburbs, $30 million towards theatre, live music and various other forms of entertainment and $30 million to the Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme.

“This will help businesses in the creative sector while encouraging Victorians to get back to what they love doing,” Assistant Treasurer Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said.

“Our arts and cultural scene was hit hard by the global pandemic and that’s why we’re supporting these businesses to bounce back in 2022.”

The package has included a $60 million Ventilation Program to support small businesses in upgrading equipment that will reduce COVID spreading and improve customer confidence.

And an additional $34.2 million of the Jobs Victoria funding will help with filling the various 1500 vacant positions across the hospitality, warehousing and logistics, tourism and food processing industries with people in need of work. •

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