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Being able to buy the basic necessities was a real help for people.

The Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card can be spent with over 1200 businesses in Glasgow. Following the disbursement of 85,000 £105 Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards, one of the most popular independent businesses to spend the cards was Toryglen Supermarket in Glasgow. Owner Gulzar Mahmood said:

“I hadn’t actually heard about the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card until my customers started asking me if they would be able to spend their card at the shop. They’d had a letter from Glasgow City Council telling them that their gift card would be on its way. I knew that there would be people needing help, so I registered to accept the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card.

“I probably signed up to accept the Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card about a week or two before they were issued. It wasn’t a difficult process. We take cards anyway, but the gift card has a magnetic strip so it gets swiped rather than chip and pin. Once I understood that, it was easy.

“Toryglen Supermarket is a newsagent selling groceries and all of the basics but no off-sales. We’ve been a service provider in the community since 1982, and it is a very close knit community. We do our best to support our customers and are a part of people’s day to day lives. Even though people might drive, and there’s a big supermarket nearby, they show loyalty to us, and also appreciate the convenience of having a shop that’s right here in the heart of the community.

“Because we’ve been a part of the community for so long, there’s a lot of trust. It’s like a family really. When customers received their Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards and weren’t sure how to activate them, we were the first place they came. We talked them through how to activate their cards, and how to check the balance they had on them.

“Around 20-30% of the gift cards were used by our customers to pay their bills, mostly gas and electricity. As a business, we don’t make any money from bill payments, but we wanted to give our customers a helping hand with prices jumping up. The other thing that customers spent their Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card on was day to day bits, like bread, milk and toiletries.

“The good thing about the card was that people could spend a bit at a time as they needed it, they didn’t have to waste the money by spending it all at once. People really did appreciate the gift cards and were wise about how they used them. Being able to buy the basic necessities was a real help for people.

“Everyone is struggling right now with prices going up, businesses too. I would say that every business in Scotland should register to accept their local Scotland Loves Local Gift Card. As business owners, we have to help the people in our community; they rely on us and we rely on them. The more you support your community, the more they will support you and show you loyalty.”