Lion declares March 23 Australia’s National Local Day
Mar 10, 2021
To mark one year since the taps were turned off and pubs, clubs, bars and hospitality venues across Australia fell silent, leading brewer Lion is declaring Tuesday, 23 March the inaugural ‘National Local Day’ – and encouraging people right across the country to go out and support their ‘local’.
National Local Day comes as many operators are yet to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and will see Lion inject more than half a million dollars into pubs and clubs right across Australia through a consumer promotion launching later in the month.
This promotion will build 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.
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,” Brindley said.
“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,” Brindley said.
“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.”
Australian Hotels Association National CEO Stephen Ferguson said ‘National Local Day’ was a timely reminder for Australians to get out and support their local.
“That one day last year had a huge impact on the local pub,” Ferguson said.
“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.”
CEO of ClubsNSW Josh Landis welcomed the launch of National Local Day.
“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,” Landis said.
“Our clubs go above and beyond to support their local communities and this campaign is a great way for those communities to show their appreciation – and enjoy a beer while they’re at it!”