BONUS: At RA?s Lismore Car Repairs, customer Rodney Cooney with his petrol vouchers and business owners Andrew Robinson, fixing
BONUS: At RA?s Lismore Car Repairs, customer Rodney Cooney with his petrol vouchers and business owners Andrew Robinson, fixing

Motorists grab free fuel offer

By ALEX EASTON aeaston@northernstar.com.au

AN old idea for saving fuel has gained new momentum on the Northern Rivers with a voucher scheme organisers say could make petrol free.

The scheme, being run through 24 Lismore businesses and two service stations, offers fuel discount vouchers similar to those used in traditional supermarket-based schemes.

However, program co-ordinator Ray Bailey, of Team Business Power, said the Lismore program, which started a month ago, lets customers combine vouchers to lift the level of the discount.

Mr Bailey said the program was growing fast.

"We don't know how many people are using the vouchers but we know that in the last week of August people used as many vouchers as they did in the first three weeks combined," Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said Team Business Power wanted to extend the program to Casino and Ballina, and was already getting calls from businesses in those towns ? as well as from businesses as far away as Buderim on the Sunshine Coast ? keen to take part.

Lismore businesses in the program also said there had been strong interest but were reluctant to draw a link between the popularity of the program and the strength of their businesses.

RA's Lismore Car Repairs partowner Ray Barrett estimated his business had picked up about 10 new customers over the past few weeks because of the program and said his business was now so busy he had put on a new part-timer.

"The customers just love it," he said.

"I know we've turned over twice as many vouchers so far this month as we did last month.

"We're expecting it to take another month or two (for the program) to really get up on its feet."

Nick Themsen, of Luv a Coffee, was also uncertain if the deal had increased custom at his business but said customers were now asking for the vouchers whenever they bought something.

"I'm not sure whether people are redeeming them or not yet, but there is certainly greater interest in it," Mr Themsen said.

"The first time someone comes in we show them the voucher and they say: 'What is this for?' Now they're coming back and saying: 'We'd like our petrol voucher, please'.

"It's only been going for a month but we think it will be a success."

For more information go to www.teambusinesspower.com



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