Maitland's hospitality industry has nothing but praise for the state government's Dine and Discover voucher program, saying it has helped to put money in their tills.
Anne Teale, who owns the popular Teale Cafe in East Maitland, said customers had been consistently using the dine vouchers since they became available through the government's economic stimulus plan.
"It has been a very successful exercise. It has been very good for business, it has been very positive," she said.
While Ms Teale couldn't say if customers had always spent more because they had the voucher in hand, she thought in some cases it may have enticed them to order a bit more.
"I think it has encouraged them to come out," she said.
"Maybe they are spending more in some cases, maybe they wouldn't have had desert as well if they didn't have the dine voucher."
It's a similar story at the long-standing Lavenders Cafe in central Maitland. Customers present the voucher there almost every day.
"A lot of people have been using them, we've had some people call up and ask if we take them, or they have messaged us online to ask," staff member Maddie Leonard said.
"We have people using them almost everyday, if not every second day."
Ms Leonard thought the cafe's trade would remain consistent after the voucher program ends on June 30.
"I think we'll be right, when winter came it dropped off a bit but it has picked up again since then," she said.
There is $337 million worth of vouchers that had not been used on June 15, according to government figures, and $3.39 million of that had gone unused in the Hunter.
There are three $25 dine vouchers and three discover vouchers to use.
"Dine vouchers can be used at eligible restaurants and pubs for dine-in or take-away right across the region. While discover vouchers can be used at eligible cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, wildlife parks, theatres, amusement parks and indoor entertainment such as bowling, go-karting, indoor climbing and mini-golf," Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said.
"Now is the last time to make the best use of these vouchers."
In the news:
Do you know you can subscribe to get full access to all Maitland Mercury stories? Subscribing supports us in our local news coverage. To subscribe, click here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.