The ACT Government’s trial discount voucher scheme that is designed to help boost Christmas trading has proved so popular that its uptake crashed the system on its first day.
The government says 8000 people signed up on day one, but many of them encountered problems on the ChooseCBR website when they tried to access the discounts.
A spokesperson said some were unable to progress to the final screen of customer registration after they entered their one-time password to verify their account, but these problems have now been fixed.
“Anyone who was experiencing difficulties yesterday [23 November] should now be able to register, or login using the details they entered,” said the spokesperson. “If anyone is still experiencing any difficulties with the registration process, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.”
The ACT Government launched the $500,000 trial discount voucher scheme to boost consumer spending to help Canberra businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic sent the economy into recession.
But consumers may have to get in quick to secure them before the $500,000 is exhausted.
The scheme is part of the government’s COVID-19 economic jobs and economic recovery plan and encourages Canberrans to choose locally when buying goods and services.
The $2.50, $5, $10 and $20 digital vouchers can be accessed from the ChooseCBR website and used at participating businesses from 9 December until 21 December this year.
Eligible local businesses across Canberra can register to participate in ChooseCBR, but they must have a physical shopfront in the ACT; have received JobKeeper payments during 2020; be in the retail, tourism and accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality sectors; and have less than $10 million in turnover a year.
The ACT Government reiterated the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and that it will continue to support local businesses to keep the economy moving and keep people in jobs as part of the plan to create and protect more than 250,000 local jobs by 2025.
The scheme is designed to support local businesses across a range of industries, including retail, tourism, accommodation, arts and recreation, personal services and hospitality, all of which have been significantly affected by COVID-19.
ACT Minister for Business and Better Regulation Tara Cheyne said the trial program would be evaluated with a view to rolling out a full program in 2021.
The program is modelled on the successful City of Darwin program, myDarwin, which found that for every $1 of government spending, businesses benefited by between $4 and $6 of revenue.
The government says this means the ChooseCBR trial could provide up to $3 million worth of stimulus to the ACT economy.
The vouchers can’t be redeemed for alcohol, tobacco or gaming products.