Businesses across Glasgow are being urged to ensure they can benefit from a multi-million pound injection into the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card.
The gift cards can only be spent with local businesses and are a way by which people can show their support for those around them, locking money into the local economy.
Glasgow City Council is delivering a significant boost into the programme this summer by sending cards pre-loaded with £105 each to more than 84,000 households.
That will drive £8.8m into city businesses while also providing dignified support to low-income households struggling with the cost of living crisis.
But in order to benefit from that boost – and those of the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card, which can be bought by anyone – businesses must be registered to accept them.
Almost 750 businesses – from independent grocers and gift shops to convenience stores, supermarkets, visitor attractions, salons, cafes and restaurants – have already signed up.
And others across the city are being urged to join them by following the free and simple registration process. The only requirements are that the business must have a Mastercard terminal and have premises in Glasgow.
The gift cards are an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local Campaign, which encourages people to help businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic and build a better future for their community by thinking, choosing and spending locally.
It is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) and supported by the Scottish Government.
STP chief officer Phil Prentice said: “The more businesses which register to accept the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card, the wider the benefit will be in every corner of the city.
“The council’s investment in the gift card demonstrates the power it has to drive significant sums of money into the local economy. We hope that this one-off stimulus will encourage a longer-term shift towards people using the cards as a way to spend in the city. Everyone wins from this.”
Among the businesses which have signed up to accept the card is Boveda Hair & Beauty on Maryhill Road.
Founder Donna McArthur said: “I encourage all businesses to join the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card, and talk to customers about the fact that you accept it.
“If we get behind the card, show we accept it and encourage our customers to spend it, it will be a bonus for local businesses and a route to new customers.”
The gift card initiative is being promoted with the message of Love local, love Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: “The 85,000 cards that we’ll soon be sending out will deliver a real double benefit for communities across Glasgow.
“They will give extra spending power to lower-income households, right across the city, at a time when they are facing the worst pressures in decades – but they will also deliver a much-needed economic stimulus and a real boost to local businesses in our high streets, while they are still recovering from the covid pandemic.
“I think there is also a real, longer-term incentive for businesses to sign up to the scheme and for Glaswegians to shop local.”
Funding for the council disbursement scheme has come via a Covid Economic Recovery Funding package awarded by the Scottish Government. Channelling that money towards lower income homes for spending provides a means to do exactly that.
Data from the council tax system is being used to identify households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction. This will be used to identify those eligible to receive the pre-paid gift card. These will be sent out directly. There is no application process.
The gift card programme is being delivered and administered by specialist Scottish firm Miconex.
Managing director Colin Munro said: “Our team is on-hand to help businesses through the registration process so that they can benefit from this incredibly exciting programme in Glasgow and the longer-term benefits we are sure it will trigger.”