Queensland Premier has announced that the Queensland Government will be introducing a $1 million dollars’ worth of new Play Money Reward vouchers for Gold Coast residents to support border zone businesses and tourism operators.

Distributed in collaboration with Destination Gold Coast, the vouchers are part of the Queensland Government’s $14.55 million support package for businesses on the Queensland – New South Wales border.

Queensland State Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer told the media that nearly 150 local businesses have registered to participate in this latest round of Play Money vouchers.

“With more businesses taking part than ever before, the program has been extended to include hairdressing, gyms and wider range of retail. Gold Coast residents will score $50 back when they spend $100 with a participating business or $100 back when they spend $200 or more on accommodation. Play Money vouchers are available from today and can be used throughout the school holidays, so there’s never been a better time to get behind your favourite border businesses,” said State Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer.

Di Farmer outlined that although these businesses have not been in lockdown, the reduction in cross-border trade has been especially challenging.

“We know that Coolangatta, Currumbin, Tugun and Currumbin Waters have suffered from a big drop in local foot traffic and patronage because they’re essentially one community split across two states. That’s why backing small business is at the heart of our $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and why we are delivering this third round of Play Money Rewards,” says Ms. Farmer.

The Queensland State Government has also provided funding to border zone businesses for:

  • $700,000 worth of mental health services
  • $50,000 in financial support for marketing campaigns such as ‘Essentially Cooly’
  • joint Queensland-Australian Government-funded COVID-19 Border Business Zone Hardship Grants of $1,000 – $5,000, which businesses qualify for if they have already received a Covid-19 Business Support Grant (businesses are contacted directly about this).

Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan has spoken praise for the new round of Play Money Rewards, saying it will help support southern Gold Coast businesses who’ve been hit hard by the border closure.

“This is a great strategy. We know it works and will help to stimulate economic recovery following Covid-19 restrictions. It’s an opportunity for people to have a bit of fun after a tough year, with each Gold Coast resident eligible for up to five Play Money Reward vouchers,” said Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan.

“Tourism and hospitality businesses have been especially impacted in the past 18 months, and I hope this program signals the beginning of greater economic activity in the region as restrictions ease and our border opens up. We believe this round of Play Money Rewards has the potential to provide more than $2 million directly to local border businesses,” continued Patricia O’Callaghan.

Play Money Rewards can be redeemed at participating Border Business Zone attractions including businesses in industries such as; the arts and culture experiences, accommodation, restaurants, and local retail businesses.