ACT launches $500,000 digital voucher program to boost spending at local businesses

Andrew Barr

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Source: AAP/Lukas Coch.

The ACT government has launched a $500,000 digital voucher program, intended to boost the amount Canberrans are spending at local small businesses, with a specific focus on the retail, tourism, arts, hospitality and personal services sectors.

The ChooseCBR initiative will see participating Canberrans given five discount vouchers, worth $40 in total, that will renew on a daily basis.

The initiative opened for applications on Monday but doesn’t kick-off until December 9. 

To participate in the program, small businesses must sign up online. They will then feature on the list of participating merchants. 

To be eligible, a business must:

  • Have a physical shopfront in the Australian Capital Territory; 
  • Have received JobKeeper at some point in 2020;
  • Have less than $10 million in annual turnover; and
  • Operate within the retail, hospitality, tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation or personal services sectors.

The program will run until December 21, or until the allocated $500,000 has been exhausted. 

One voucher will be worth $20, requiring an $80 minimum spend; one will be worth $10, requiring a $40 minimum spend; one will be worth $5, requiring a $20 minimum spend; and two will be worth $2.50, each requiring a $10 minimum spend.

Each voucher can be redeemed once daily and will renew overnight.

Anyone over the age of 18 years old who is visiting or living in the ACT can sign up for the ChooseCBR voucher program.

Participating customers will use a unique code in-store to redeem their daily discount. They will not be able to use the vouchers for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco or gambling products.

The program will operate with a reimbursement structure, which will see the ACT “use its best endeavours to reimburse the merchant within two weeks of the ChooseCBR Discount being redeemed”, according to the merchant’s terms and conditions page.

Payments will be processed every Tuesday and Thursday.

The ACT is the latest region to establish a voucher scheme, with similar schemes also underway in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.


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