Lion has declared 23 March 2021 as the inaugural ‘National Local Day’, and is encouraging the public to support their local pub.

The date marks the one-year anniversary of when pubs across Australia were forced to shutdown by Federal Government mandate, in an effort to curb the transmission of the coronavirus across the country. As such, Lion is looking to encourage the public to patronise their nearby and favourite pubs on that date, in a continued effort to help on-premise venues recover from a challenging year.

Many pubs and clubs across the country are still focused on recovering from a dreadful 2020, and in support Lion will be injecting more than $500,000 into local venues via a National Local Day consumer promotion.

Lion Managing Director James Brindley said he hoped to see National Local Day become an annual event – to remember the important role local pubs and clubs play in communities across Australia.

“23 March 2020 was the darkest day in history for Australia’s pubs and clubs.

“Not only was it the first-time pubs and clubs had to shut their doors to their communities ever, but it was also the first-time major breweries like Castlemaine Perkins and Tooheys have ever had to turn off their keg lines,” stated Brindley.

“Lion is declaring 23 March 2021 the inaugural National Local Day – to mark the anniversary of our local pubs and clubs falling silent – and to celebrate the resilience that has kept them going over these past 12 months.

“We should never take these venues – and the invaluable role they play in bringing Australian communities together – for granted.”

Lion will be running a consumer-facing promotion across major metro newspapers on 20 March in the lead-up to National Local Day a couple of days later. The campaign will allow the public to access $15 Pre-paid Digital Mastercards to spend at their local venue.

Similar to the beginning of the lockdown last year, Lion will be leading the campaign with state-pride brands such as XXXX and Tooheys New.

Lion hopes to see more than half a million dollars injected into pubs and clubs through the promotion. Redemption of the vouchers can be made through an app called Myy.

The National Local Day campaign has the support of the AHA, which views it as another means of getting people out to their local hotel after a tough year for the industry.

“That one day last year had a huge impact on the local pub,” state AHA National CEO, Stephen Ferguson.

“Hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers were stood down over the following days, weeks and months. Hard-working pub operators lost millions in forward sales – as well as perishables like food, and of course, draught beer.

“Our sector was the first to fully close due to COVID-19, and it is important to remember the impacts are still being felt.

“State-by-state, it is still a long road ahead for our venues and it’s great to see this support for the local pub.”

The promotion builds on Lion’s support for venues impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, including its keg return scheme which saw the brewer immediately refund more than $30 million for full and unused kegs.

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