Orange residents will share in $50,000 worth of free gift cards to spend in the city to help revive local business.
Orange City Council this week agreed to buy Shop Orange vouchers to be distributed among residents.
It has also committed a further $50,000 to be given to voluntary sporting clubs to help them get started in winter sports.
However, that does not include school sporting teams.
If a resident gets a $100 gift card they'll be able to take it to any participating businesses.Allan Reeder, Orange City Council
Council spokesperson Allan Reeder said it was expected 500 gift cards, each worth $100, would be handed out.
The funding was approved by council in the closed section of Tuesday night's extraordinary meeting.
Council is now working through the details of how the gift cards will be allocated.
Mr Reeder said the scheme was expected to be launched within a few weeks.
"This program comes from an opportunity to give a direct boost to the Orange business community at a time when it's starting to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"If a resident gets a $100 gift card they'll be able to take it to any participating businesses.
"It's often the case that people will spend more than the value of the card, adding to it with their own money. That will increase the impact of the $50,000 to potentially much more than that."
The Shop Orange website shows about 113 businesses are registered for the scheme.
"The already-established system of Shop Orange gift cards is a great way to send this help directly to where it's needed," he said.
The Shop Orange scheme allows people to buy gift cards in Orange which can then be spent only at participating Orange-region businesses.
Collins Bookseller Orange owner Margaret Schwebel welcomed the handout as a way to boost business.
Mrs Schwebel said people were keen to support the city's businesses.
"It would be fantastic. There's a lot of thought in the area to buy local," she said.
Mrs Schwebel said even $10 or $20 gift cards being handed out for free would be an incentive for people to buy in Orange.
"It would drive foot traffic back into the shops," she said.
Mrs Schwebel said the Shop Orange scheme was in need of a revival.
"Until now there hasn't been a huge uptake," she said.
"Especially in the last 12 months the number of cards [used in the shop] has declined."
Businesses currently registered for the scheme cover a range of retail areas. They include supermarkets, tyre stores, coffee shops, gift shops, wineries, newsagencies, clothing stores, butchers, chemists, the cinema and jewellers.
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