There has been a dramatic increase in the number of businesses participating in the ACT government's ChooseCBR voucher scheme, with customers able to access $2 million worth of discounts from Wednesday.
So far, more than 560 small Canberra businesses have signed up to the scheme, this is compared to 336 businesses in the December trial.
However, the scheme got off to a poor start with the website being down for portions of the launch day.
ACT Business Minister Tara Cheyne said she hoped the overhauled scheme would work better for small businesses, as the eligibility criteria has been extended and the discount amounts are greater.
The scheme will offer discounts of up to 50 per cent, subsidised by the ACT government. Customers would get $10 off when at least $20 is spent, $20 off when at least $40 is spent and $50 off when at least $100 is spent.
Customers can access each of the three vouchers once a day.
Those without a smart phone can bring a print-out of the code to the counter.
The ACT government had a three-week trial of the discount vouchers in December. In the trial, there was $500,000 worth of vouchers but only $310,000 was spent in the three weeks.
Following the trial, both businesses and customers reported a lack of knowledge of the scheme.
It prompted a campaign from the ACT opposition, which labelled the vouchers as a "failed scheme" and called for the scheme to be completely overhauled.
Unlike the trial, the revived scheme will run until the full $2 million is spent.
Ms Cheyne said the government could not estimate how long this would take but she said it was anticipated the money would be spent quicker than the trial.
"We do think that it might go a little bit faster than it was during the trial," she said.
"This time we do have many more businesses participating ... the discount amounts for a person is greater as well essentially their buying power as soon as they walk into a store is doubled."
Small Canberra businesses in the hospitality, retail, accommodation, personal services or arts recreation sectors are eligible for the scheme, so long as annual turnover is less than $10 million.
Businesses must have a physical presence in the ACT.
Business eligibility criteria has also been extended, with those that did not use JobKeeper able to now sign up.
Margaret Hadfield was unable to access the December trial due to the JobKeeper criteria but this time around her Fyshwick business, Artists Shed and Margaret Hadfield Gallery Studio is taking part.
"I felt a bit indignant that I wasn't able to receive it last year but I'm so pleased that it's been rectified and that criteria isn't part of it anymore," Ms Hadfield said.
"I think it'll really boost my business if people participate in the scheme ... it's a great thing to do."
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