Scotland Loves Local Judges' Special Award
Winner: East Ayrshire Council and Kilmarnock Business Association
Trailblazing work to boost business in the fightback from the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised with a special accolade.
East Ayrshire Council and Kilmarnock Business Association were announced as recipients of a Judges’ Special prize at the Scotland Loves Local Awards.
The award was in recognition of the wide-ranging impact of the gift card after its launch to help fuel the local recovery from the first lockdown last year.
And it comes as the new Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are being rolled out across the country – supported by the Scottish Government – giving shoppers another way in which they can choose local and support businesses in their community to recover from the pandemic.
The award was announced by Scotland’s Towns Partnership Chief Officer Phil Prentice, who said: “We would not have been able to get where we are with that without the support of pathfinders such as East Ayrshire Council and Kilmarnock Business Association.
“They have demonstrated what a positive impact local gift cards can have in their area – encouraging people to support local businesses of all kinds, to realise all that they have in their community and critically, locking money into the local economy and protecting jobs.
“The innovative use of the gift card in East Ayrshire is an inspirational example which other regions can follow. Local gift cards will help secure the future of many businesses in our communities.”
The card, launched with 80 businesses registered to accept it, now has 180 merchants.
As well as giving people another way in which to support their local businesses, the cards have been used to help tackle poverty, with 4,200 gift cards – each worth £20 – distributed to families last Christmas, allowing them to buy gifts and essentials for children.
That was so successful that the council repeated that work at Easter – this time increasing the value to £50, with more than 4,500 cards distributed.
Click here to find out more about the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card and how you can get involved.