The 85,000 households eligible to receive a £105 spending boost from Glasgow City Council have been sent letters to share the news and tell them what to expect next.
Households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction as of June 1st 2022 are being urged to watch out for envelopes branded with Love local, love Glasgow dropping through their letterbox in the coming days.
They contain letters detailing critical information about using Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards when they are delivered to their homes in mid-August.
Recipients must keep their letter safe, as each contains an activation code unique to them. Without it, people will not be able to ready their cards for use when they arrive.
The council is using the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card as a means to help lower income households with the cost of living crisis while ensuring money is reinvested in the local economy, helping businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The 85,000 cards that we’ll soon be sending out will secure a 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.
“It’s really important that people keep the first letter they receive safe, so they are able to activate their card and enjoy all the benefits of shopping local – and that businesses take a look at how the scheme can work for them.”
The Glasgow gift cards can only be spent within the city and with businesses registered to accept them. More than 700 places – including all kinds of shops, places to eat, salons and visitor attractions – have so far signed to do so. The drive to increase that number continues.
While the card values alone will deliver a one-off injection of more than £8m into city firms, supporters believe the scheme has the power to unlock millions of pounds more for the economy by encouraging people to spend more time in their local area.
They are also available for anyone to buy and spend with, in the same way any other gift card is.
It is hoped that the council disbursement programme will encourage residents, visitors, other local companies and organisations as a way by which they can support city businesses in the longer term.
The gift card is an extension of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, the drive led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s (STP) for people to help their communities recover from the coronavirus pandemic by supporting local businesses.
STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “We know that people are keen to get out and start using their Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards, which is great. Glasgow City Council is breaking new ground for the scale in which the cards are used to directly support people.
“This will help households trying to manage the cost of living and businesses as they work to build a better post-pandemic future.It’s about local people supporting each other.”
Perth-based fintech Miconex is administering and delivering the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card, as it is each of the individual gift card programmes available in Scotland’s 32 local authority regions.
Managing Director Colin Munro said: “We cannot wait for people and businesses across Glasgow to feel the benefit of the gift card. The council’s innovative use of them will ensure the money makes a difference to people’s lives while supporting local businesses and jobs.
“Please, if you receive a letter, put it somewhere safe because you will need the details within it to activate your gift card when it arrives in August.”
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.
Data from the council tax system has been used to identify households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.Those eligible will be sent both the first letter and the gift card. There is no application process, as entitlement is automatic.
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.