Recognising one year since the day that turned Australia upside down and closed pubs for the first time ever, Lion is declaring Tuesday, 23 March the inaugural ‘National Local Day’.

The date marks one year since the taps were turned off at pubs and clubs across the country and National Local Day comes as many operators are yet to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

The massive campaign aims to encourage people to go out and support their ‘local’ and sees Lion inject more than half a million dollars into pubs and clubs across Australia, through a consumer promotion launching later this month.

“23 March 2020 was the darkest day in history for Australia’s pubs and clubs,” said Lion managing director James Brindley.

“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.”

Celebrating the resilience that has kept them going over these past 12 months, Brindley hopes to see National Local Day become an annual event.

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

National Local Day builds on Lion’s existing support for venues, including the refund of more than $30 million for full and unused kegs through its keg return scheme.

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis welcomed the launch and support from the big brewer.

“This is a fantastic initiative from Lion. It’s been an incredibly difficult 12 months for the industry, so the timing of National Local Day couldn’t be better.”

Australian Hotels Association National CEO Stephen Ferguson said the event is a timely reminder for Aussies.

“That one day last year had a huge impact on the local pub,” says 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.”


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