A Glasgow housing association has injected tens of thousands of pounds into the city economy by giving its tenants greater spending power.
Cernach, which owns almost 900 homes in Drumchapel, has been using the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card to provide financial support to some of those living in its properties.
It is a move which Cernach Housing Association says has not only made money available when people have needed it most – but has also supported local businesses and helped protect jobs.
And it is one which has been hailed as a tremendous example of the difference that choosing local can make on communities.
Emma McShane, corporate services and assurance manager at Cernach, shared the organisation’s story with television presenter Sean Batty, an ambassador for the Scotland Loves Local campaign.
She described how the association has used grant funding to buy tens of thousands of pounds-worth of Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards, which have been distributed to tenants facing a range of cash challenges – from heating their homes and feeding their families to buying essential household items.
Emma said: “Because so many businesses in Drumchapel and throughout Glasgow accept the gift card, it means that people receiving them will be spending the money in the community, at places which employ local people, including tenants of ours.
“This not only means we are directly helping local people, but also sustaining jobs and helping local businesses to thrive. This makes the whole area more attractive for wider investment.
“People want to shop in their local area and help their community, keeping themselves and other people here in jobs. Every £100 spent in a business here is maybe going to make the difference between someone able to do some extra shifts each week, putting more money in their pockets.”
Cernach has already shared its work with other Scottish housing associations and businesses.
The experiences in Drumchapel – and throughout Glasgow – feature in the latest of a series of special Scotland Loves Local videos featuring Sean, highlighting the different ways in which people can support their community and the benefits that brings.
Speaking afterwards, Sean said: “It was really interesting to hear about the work being done by Cernach to help people who live locally and to support local businesses at the same time, which is a real reinvestment back into the area.
“It’s an initiative which really highlights the life-improving power of choosing local and the difference it can make in communities throughout Glasgow and across Scotland.”
The video has been shared in the wake of polling commissioned by Scotland Loves Local which found that, across Glasgow:
- 79% of those questioned agreed that when using gift cards to reward and incentivise staff, employers should use local gift card schemes to support local town centres and small businesses rather than national alternatives.
- Three quarters (75%) agreed that employers should do more to support local businesses in their area.
The card is an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP). It is designed to be an active way in which people can play a part in building stronger communities by choosing local and supporting businesses in their home area.
In a separate use of the gift cards, Glasgow City Council distributed Cards worth £105 to 85,000 low-income households across the city last summer as a means of supporting those homes during a cost-of-living crisis, whilst also boosting the local economy.
That led to a boost worth in excess of £7m for traders across the city, with 950 businesses registered to accept them.
The appetite for local rewards has emerged as businesses of all sizes make plans for how they intend to say ‘thank you’ to colleagues for Christmas 2023.
And they come as general sales for the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card nationally top £500,000 for the first time – a 120% increase on this point last year. Corporate orders from businesses are an important element of that, representing half of sales.
The gift card programme is administered by Perth-based fintech Miconex.