Borders businesses are being urged to cash in on the chance to boost trade by signing up to accept the new Scotland Loves Local Scottish Borders Gift Card, set to launch in October.
The gift card is being launched in a bid to help support local retailers and the region’s high streets in the lead up to Christmas by encouraging spending in the local economy and driving post pandemic recovery.
Businesses of all kinds and size including retail, hospitality, leisure, attractions and health and beauty are eligible to sign up as long as they have a physical presence in the Scottish Borders. Online-only businesses are not eligible to sign up for the scheme.
It couldn’t be easier to sign up, with businesses able to register online in a few short steps: www.lovelocal.scot/giftcard
Once signed up, no additional equipment is required for businesses, with gift cards accepted through the Mastercard system.
Later this month staff from Scotland Loves Local will be visiting some towns and villages across the region to speak to local businesses, raise awareness of the gift card scheme and encourage sign-ups. The engagement exercise will take place between 20-22 September.
Twenty eight regional Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards have already launched, with the cards being used to provide tangible support to businesses, including an £8.5 million disbursement of funds initiative in Glasgow.
Councillor Scott Hamilton, Executive Member for Community & Business Development at Scottish Borders Council, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the shopping habits of consumers were forced to change as geographical restrictions were placed on our movements.
“As a result there was a noticeable increase in people showing support to local businesses of all sizes who faced the impact of reduced footfall and financial insecurity.
“Here in the Scottish Borders we are blessed with an incredible variety of independent businesses spanning all sectors who offer world class products and services.
“To encourage further local spending as we approach Christmas, we are encouraging as many businesses as possible to sign up to the gift card scheme to reap the benefits of more local spending and boost high street spending this festive season.”
Chief Officer for Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Phil Prentice, said: “There are tremendous businesses across the Scottish Borders – but everyone in the region needs to get behind them in order that they can not just survive the challenging circumstances we continue to face, but thrive in the future.
“By thinking local first, we will help the recovery from Covid-19, support those around us through the cost of living crisis and become more sustainable. The gift card is another way in which people can show their loyalty, choose local and provide a significant cash injection for businesses.”
Miconex Managing Director, Colin Munro, said: “50% of gift cards are used with new businesses, and 50% of those people go on to become regular customers. This is an opportunity for Scottish Borders businesses to bring more people through the door, especially as we approach the key Christmas trading period.”
More information on the Scotland Loves Local gift card can be found at https://scotlandgiftslocal.com/