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FOOD & DRINK

The NSW Government Is Giving Restaurants $5000 Grants to Improve Their Al Fresco Dining

The NSW Government is investing $66 million into a series of initiatives aimed at revitalising the hospitality industry.
By Ben Hansen
October 15, 2021
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By Ben Hansen
October 15, 2021
  shares

As Sydney emerges from nearly four months of lockdown, the NSW Government is investing $66 million into a series of initiatives aimed at increasing outdoor dining, activities and events across the state. At the centre of the plan is a large number of grants that will be given to restaurants and bars to improve their al fresco dining options.

"After a long winter, it's time for Sydney to enjoy a meal or drink in the sunshine," Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said. "We're providing five thousand hospitality businesses a $5000 grant to get their outdoor dining venture off the ground - whether that's to help set-up curb-side dining or a pub-style courtyard."

To help facilitate this initiative, the state government has permanently eased rules regarding dining on footpaths and public spaces, and temporarily rolled back restrictions on hosting outdoor dining on privately-owned bowling greens and carparks.

Vic on the Park's beer garden

To encourage people to engage with public spaces in the city, murals, art installations and laneway cinemas will all be funded by the government as part of The Festival of Place, an initiative to help revitalise areas like The Rocks, Darling Harbour, and The Domain.

These are part of a broader rollout of state and local government programs designed to encourage patrons to go out and jump-start the state's economy and hospitality industry after a horror two years.

The NSW Government's Dine & Discover program has been extended to June next year, with anyone signed up to the program receiving a top up of two more $25 vouchers to spend on food and entertainment. The City of Sydney is also investing $5.7 million into al fresco dining at inner-city establishments.

"Waiving outdoor dining fees was one of the first things we did when the pandemic hit Sydney, to make it easier for restaurants, bars and cafes to operate while encouraging physical distancing," said Lord Mayor Clover Moore said when the initiative was announced in June. "People have really embraced it, with participating businesses telling us they've taken on extra staff and seen increased patronage — a crucial aid to staying afloat in these difficult times."

The Dolphin Hotel

Head to the NSW Government's website to learn more about the Alfresco Restart Package.

Published on October 15, 2021 by Ben Hansen

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