The Argyll and Bute Gift Card can be spent with over 160 businesses across Argyll and Bute, including The Gather in Tarbert. Corrin Green is the owner of The Gather, alongside husband Phil:
“The Gather is a glamping site, café and shop and a relatively new business. Pre pandemic, we sold our old business in Lytham St Annes and bought The Gather in Tarbert. Our old business was a pavilion park café that we’d built up and developed, and had similarities to The Gather with lots of new opportunities too.
“We couldn’t wait to develop The Gather and have introduced everything from our Christmas Festival to ceilidh nights. We’ve become part of the community, even opening our artisan shop stocked with local produce made by local people. The craftsmanship on offer locally really blew us away. The important thing is keeping ourselves dynamic in a rural area, and the glamping side was a big draw for us. Many people stop off here on the way to Arran and Islay
“At Christmas 2021, hospitality businesses were floored by the advice about staying home. For Christmas 2022, we’re facing the same challenges that most businesses are facing, namely rising costs. I’d estimate that we are 70% up on costs and utilities, and people are spending less too, so we’re trying to figure all that out. It’s not as simple as upping the price of a cup of coffee by 70%. We are fortunate at The Gather though that we have a big floor space and can seat up to 80 people at a time.
“When we heard about the Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Gift Card, we thought it was a no-brainer. What especially piqued my interest was the fact that it was just for our area, giving more opportunities to have a visible impact. And of course, anything that supports local has to be a good thing. We signed up to accept the Argyll and Bute Gift Card, which was so easy to do.
“We’re really glad that we signed up to the Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Gift Card, even more so when the disbursement of the £120 Argyll and Bute Gift Card to 6000 low-income households was announced. There will be almost half a million pounds waiting to be spent locally through these cards. That is really exciting for our community.
“I’d like to see even more businesses in Argyll and Bute signing up to accept the card. As a business owner, you’re so used to skimming through your emails and dismissing things as spam that when an initiative like the Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Gift Card comes along, it can be easy to miss it. In places like Tarbert, there aren’t many big shops, so if 20 families receive these cards, they will be spent in a hyper local area. As businesses, we have to be ready to accept the cards as payment.
“I hope the disbursement of the Argyll and Bute Gift Card will encourage new people who’ve not visited us before to give us a try. Often, people need an incentive to use your business, and the gift card is definitely that. As a fledgling business, opening the door to more people is a real priority.
“When people shop local, it makes a direct impact on hard working local people. It’s very personal. Every £1 spent locally is benefiting the whole area. If the community does well, we all do well.”