Scotland’s Economy Secretary says the new Scotland Loves Local Gift Card will provide a boost for businesses as they recover from coronavirus.
Kate Forbes has urged companies of all kinds across the country to sign up to be part of the scheme, which gives local people another way in which they can support the businesses around them.
She spoke of her support for the gift card and the wider Scotland Loves Local drive as she met Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), in Fort William.
STP is spearheading the campaign with the support of the Scottish Government, urging people to “choose local” to help fuel their region’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.
Ms Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, said: “I would encourage all businesses to sign up for the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card because it incentivises local people to spend their money locally, investing in their economy.
“The Scotland Loves Local campaign is so important for our economic recovery, locally and nationally, because it encourages people to spend their money locally and support local businesses. They have been key throughout the pandemic in helping us get through it, so now is the time to repay that and support them.”
The Scottish Government is financially backing the rollout of gift cards in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, each of which can only be spent in that specific region.
It is the first time that a programme like this has been carried out on a national scale. It is seen as a quick and efficient way in which to drive sales and spending in local economies, with every type of businesses able to sign up to accept it.
Mr Prentice said: “We are so grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for her support and in taking the time to help us get the message out there to choose local.
“The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is a brilliant way in which people can show their support for local businesses, help their communities recover from the impact of the pandemic and look towards a stronger future. We are delighted to have the backing of the Scottish Government to make this happen.”
Local cards will be rolled out in a series of regional launches over the coming months, as councils agree to promote the programme in their area.Signing up to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is free, with payments processed through the Mastercard network. STP is working with Perth-based fintech Miconex, which already operates 60 gift card programmes in the UK, Ireland and North America, to deliver the scheme.
For more information, click here.