The number of places where people can spend the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card has broken through the 1,200 barrier.
Hundreds more places are working their way through the registration process, with the total expected to reach beyond 1,500 in the coming weeks.
Businesses across the city have moved quickly to become part of the programme after Glasgow City Council distributed gift cards worth £105 each to 85,000 households across the city. Companies can continue to sign up.
Councillors decided to use the gift cards to help eligible, low-income households cope with the cost of living crisis, as well as to provide a multi-million pound injection into the local economy, with the gift cards only redeemable with city businesses registered to accept them.
More than £5m has already been spent using the 73,000 gift cards activated since they were distributed by the council last month (August).
People who received cards but who have not yet activated them are being urged to, so that they too can benefit from the scheme.
With a mix of independent and national businesses registered to accept the gift cards, they have most frequently been used to pay for household items and utility bills paid in stores.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The success of the Loves Local gift card scheme in Glasgow in supporting both businesses in the city and helping households during the cost of living crisis is shown by the number of places where the card can be used and the use of the card in the city so far.
“While more businesses are close to completing their registration, I encourage those who have not registered to do so to allow them to benefit – and this is also the case for those remaining households who have still to activate their cards.”
The full value of the gift cards does not need to be spent in one go, with people tending to split spending over several. The average spend per transaction is about £25. They can be spent in places including shops, places to eat, salons, visitor attractions and on public transport.
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 are delighted with the success of the work carried out by Glasgow City Council using the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card – and that businesses are seeing the tremendous value of being part of the programme.
“This shows the huge power of the gift card programme in delivering significant benefits to people and businesses during what are challenging times. It also demonstrates the huge potential of the cards to support the local economy for the long term as we encourage everyone to choose local.”
It is hoped that the council disbursement programme will encourage residents, visitors, other local companies and organisations to support city businesses in the longer term.
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.
Miconex Managing Director Colin Munro said: “The response from businesses and residents to the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card has been amazing. The fact that this money is locked into the city’s economy means that everyone wins.
“We are confident that the programme will be worth many millions of pounds more than the value of the cards themselves as they encourage people to show greater support for the businesses in their community.”
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.
There is no application process for the gift cards distributed by the council. Households which were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction as of June 1st 2022 should have automatically received their free gift card.
Find out more about the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card – and where they can be spent – at www.glasgow.gov.uk/loveslocal. Businesses can also follow links from there about how to register.