Eighty per cent of the 85,000 Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards issued to residents by the city council have been activated and are ready for use.
A total of £3.8m has already been spent using the near 70,000 cards already activated – less than three weeks since they started dropping through letterboxes across the city.
Glasgow City Council has used the cards to distribute a one-off payment of £105 to low-income households, helping some of those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis while supporting businesses with their continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Details of its success so far have been revealed as those who have not yet activated their cards are urged to do so in order that they too can benefit from the scheme.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It is great to see that 80% of the Scotland Loves Local gift cards for Glasgow have now been activated – this means real support for businesses in the city and households facing the cost of living crisis.
“I encourage everyone who has received this card to activate it as soon as possible to help with their household expenditure, and for local businesses to register to allow them to benefit from this successful project.”
People have spent an average of £25 each time they have used their gift cards, with food and household items the most frequent purchases.
Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards can only be used within the Glasgow City Council boundaries and with the near-1,000 businesses now registered to accept them. They include shops, places to eat, salons, visitor attractions and public transport.
The gift card is an extension of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, the drive led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s (STP) for people to help their communities recover from the coronavirus pandemic by supporting local businesses.
STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “The response to the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card – and the immediate injection it’s provided the city’s economy – has been remarkable.
“As city residents and businesses are coping with the cost of living crisis at the same time as continuing to recover from the pandemic, the timing of this support has been crucial.
“The success of Glasgow City Council’s work shows the tremendous power of the gift card programme to be a force for good in our communities, delivering benefits for huge numbers of people in many different ways.”
While the gift card values alone will deliver a one-off injection of more than £8m into city firms, supporters believe the scheme has the power to unlock millions of pounds more for the economy by encouraging people to spend more time in their local area.
They are also available for anyone to buy and spend with, in the same way any other gift card is.
It is hoped that the council disbursement programme will encourage residents, visitors, other local companies and organisations to support city businesses in the longer term.
Perth-based fintech Miconex is administering and delivering the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card, as it is each of the individual gift card programmes available in Scotland’s 32 local authority regions.
Funding for the council disbursement project has come via a £9.45m Covid Economic Recovery Funding package awarded to the council by the Scottish Government.
There is no application process for the gift cards distributed by the council. Households which were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction as of June 1st 2022 should have automatically received their free gift card.
Find out more about the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card at www.glasgow.gov.uk/loveslocal. Businesses can also find details there about how to register.