Businesses across Glasgow hope that multi-million pound support for families struggling with the cost of living will trigger renewed pride in shopping locally.
Glasgow City Council is sending Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards worth £105 each to 85,000 low income households, unlocking a vital economic injection.
Eligible households have already been sent a letter containing an activation code unique to them. This must be kept safe until they receive the gift cards themselves this month (August).
The cards can only be spent with businesses within Glasgow who are registered to accept them, locking that money into the city.
But far from being a one-off boost for businesses in the city, traders hope that the council stimulus will encourage wider use of the gift cards – as well as reminding people of the huge importance of shopping locally.
Neil Cunningham, of John W McGraddie’s butchers in Shawlands, said: “The gift card is a great thing for getting behind shopping locally and supporting local businesses. Hopefully people across Glasgow will use it for the long term.
“Local support is the only way for businesses like ours to survive. Like other independent local businesses, we have great quality and try to keep things as affordable as possible for people.”
Social enterprise Fortune Works, in Drumchapel, is another of those accepting the card. It works with people aged 18 to over 80 on reducing the stigma of disability, giving them the chance to make a valued and useful economic contribution to the community. This includes the running of a garden centre where the card is accepted.
Development officer Nichola English said: “What we like about the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card is that it brings the community together, which is exactly what we try to do. Knowing that people can come to our shop and spend their gift card is a huge morale boost for our service users. It is great for them to know they are helping our local area to thrive.
“The products we sell are fantastic but, more than that, customers always get a warm welcome and the chance to feel a part of something special. It’s not just a product, it’s an investment in the community. It’s the same with the Gift Card, every card purchased is an investment in the place where we live.
“Hopefully, being a part of the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card will open us up to new potential customers who can come and visit our shop.”
While Glasgow City Council is using the gift cards to provide direct financial support to low income families – who then spend with local businesses to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic – they are also available for anyone to buy.
They are an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, which encourages people to think, choose and spend local. It is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP).
STP chief officer Phil Prentice said: “For businesses across Glasgow, the millions of pounds that the city council’s disbursement scheme will unlock will make a significant difference, as well as providing vital support to cope with the cost of living crisis.
“But more than simply being a one-off injection, they – like us – hope that this will encourage people to make the long-term decision to shop and spend locally, including using the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card to do so.
“This will help protect jobs and make communities across the city better, more vibrant places to live.”
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.
Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards are being sent to households which were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction as of June 1st 2022. There is no application process.
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.