More than £300,000-worth Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards have been given as staff rewards by Scottish companies this year – many of them just in time for Christmas.
And it is hoped the spending will unlock an even greater boost for local economies across the country as recipients are urged to spend more time and money in their area.
Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are available for each of the country’s 32 local authority regions and can only be spent in the areas in which they are branded – keeping money local for longer.
They are an extension of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, the drive led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) for people to think, choose and spend locally to build a stronger future for their community.
The Christmas corporate sales have come from across the country.
STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “We’re delighted to see so many businesses across Scotland recognise the value of the gift card.
“By using them as corporate rewards, they are not only recognising colleagues’ hard work and success, but showing their support for other businesses locally as staff go out and spend directly with them. Everyone wins.
“We hope this is a way of rewarding staff – and the community – which will grow further in the years ahead.
“For those shared in recent weeks, this spending is a brilliant boost to shops and other services in the final countdown to Christmas and in its aftermath.”
A total of 6,520 businesses across the country are registered to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card.
Just over £316,000-worth of corporate orders for Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards have been made this year.
Corporate sales are on top of purchases of cards as presents by members of the public and their use by a number of councils across Scotland to financially support thousands of families through the cost of living crisis.
Gift cards have become an increasingly popular way of rewarding employees for their work.
Research by Perth-based fintech Miconex, which is delivering the gift card programme for STP, found that 54% of staff questioned in Scotland would rather receive a gift card to other incentives at work, including social events – and that 73% prefer multi-store cards such as Scotland Loves Local.
Of those questioned, 80% said they would make a specific trip into their local town or city to spend their card.
Miconex Managing Director Colin Munro said: “Over 90% of employees said they are keen to support local this Christmas. The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card wraps up support for local with unbeatable local choice, a gift card that can be spent with a huge variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, salons and more. It’s a reward that caters for a diverse range of staff ages and interests, that they can use on both practical items and treats too.”
Local gift cards are a proven way of unlocking greater spend in communities.
Research by The Gift Card and Voucher Association suggests that local gift card schemes have a huge multiplier effect, with up to an additional 65% of the card’s value being spent as people visit other shops, hospitality venues or leisure attractions.
It is free for businesses of any type to register to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, with payments processed through the Mastercard network. For more information go to www.lovelocal.scot/giftcard.