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    How Melbourne could get its own currency to help boost spending

    How Melbourne could get its own currency to help boost spending in bars, cafes and restaurants across the city after being hammered by the strict coronavirus lockdown

    • The ‘Melbourne Dollar’ is an ambitious idea coined by Lord Mayor Sally Capp 
    • Each dollar would cost 80 Australian cents, to be spent at participating venues
    • Ms Capp promised to carry out the scheme if she is re-elected in October 

    Melbourne could get its own currency to boost spending in bars and restaurants left battered by coronavirus lockdowns.

    The ‘Melbourne Dollar’ is an ambitious idea coined by Lord Mayor Sally Capp which would potentially deliver $25million into the state’s fragile hospitality industry.

    Food venues brought about $2.5billion into the economy each year before the pandemic forced swaths of businesses to cut their staff or close their doors entirely.

    Each dollar would cost patrons 80 Australian cents and would have to be spent at participating eateries and bars in the city, the Herald Sun reported.

    Melbourne could get its own currency to boost spending in bars and restaurants left battered by coronavirus lockdowns (pictured: A person wearing a face mask walks past a closed pub in Melbourne)

    Under the scheme, residents could purchase $500 Melbourne dollars for $400 Australian Dollars. Pictured: Women in a park in Melbourne as the COVID-19 pandemic slows

    Under the scheme, residents could purchase $500 Melbourne dollars for $400 Australian Dollars. Pictured: Women in a park in Melbourne as the COVID-19 pandemic slows

    Under the scheme, residents could purchase $500 Melbourne dollars for $400 Australian Dollars.

    Ms Capp promised to carry out the program if re-elected in October and said it would give Melbourne venues an advantage over competitors.

    ‘I make no apology for this – our city has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and needs as much help as we can give.’

    Melbourne City Council would pour $5million into the scheme to ensure businesses aren’t left out of pocket.

    ‘We have had initial discussions with some financial institutions and would go straight to market for a partner or partners to deliver this program.’ 

    Ms Capp said the program ‘suits all budgets and supports all venues’ willing to participate.  

    The 'Melbourne Dollar' is an ambitious idea coined by Lord Mayor Sally Capp (pictured)

    The ‘Melbourne Dollar’ is an ambitious idea coined by Lord Mayor Sally Capp (pictured)

    Councillor Roshena Campbell, who is a former restaurant review and barrister, would be in charge of the scheme.

    It comes as the Victorian government and the City of Melbourne joined forces to tip $100million into the lifeless CBD.

    About one million people visited the city centre each day before coronavirus.

    In August, that number had dropped by 90 per cent. 

    Restrictions have been loosened on Melbourne eateries amid falling COVID-19 rates.

    Venues can now apply for permits to set up dining areas on footpaths, in side streets and laneways, or to operate in pop-up restaurant precincts.

    Pictured: An empty row of small shops and restaurants in Melbourne on September 25

    Pictured: An empty row of small shops and restaurants in Melbourne on September 25

    Restrictions have been loosened on Melbourne eateries amid falling COVID-19 rates. Pictured: People in Melbourne enjoying the sunshine on September 19

    Restrictions have been loosened on Melbourne eateries amid falling COVID-19 rates. Pictured: People in Melbourne enjoying the sunshine on September 19

    Permits are free and grants of up to $10,000 are available for businesses to convert outdoor areas.

    Victoria has reported just seven new coronavirus cases, as the state’s horror second wave of infections continues to fall.

    Two more deaths were also recorded on Friday bringing Victoria’s death toll to 802 and the national figure to 890.

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