The Kintyre Larder in Campbeltown is just one of the popular places for recipients to spend their Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Card so far – over 70% of cards have been activated to date.
Six weeks after the distribution of almost 7,000 £120 Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Cards by Argyll and Bute Council to households struggling with the cost of living crisis, the cards are already making a big impact for businesses in Argyll and Bute.
Over 5,000 cards had been activated by early January, with over £350,000 spent in local businesses so far. In total, 275 Argyll and Bute businesses are currently registered to accept the cards as payment.
A local Scottish speciality produce shop is welcoming customers old and new following the distribution of the cards.
Linda McLean is the owner of The Kintyre Larder and said:
“We sell a varied selection of things at The Kintyre Larder, from local Scottish produce to daily bakery products, fresh rolls and pies, plus staples like meat, eggs and cheese. The gift card is a welcome thing and it’s making a difference in people’s lives.
“Towards Christmas, people were coming in with their gift card to get hot soup, frozen meat for the freezer and cupboard items. Others were doing their Christmas shopping, buying little treats for the children for Christmas Eve or getting food for Christmas day lunch. Costs are going up, times are hard but giving a family the ability to have the food and little treats that others might take for granted is huge.
“Regulars are using their Argyll and Bute Card with us, but we’re also seeing new faces too. And that’s one of the benefits of the distribution of the gift cards; it encourages people into shops and local businesses that they’ve never been in before.
“We use the Square system at The Kintyre Larder and we swipe the Argyll and Bute Card through the reader. Customers sometimes ask how they can find out how much balance they have left on the card, and we point out the QR code on the back of it, and the phone number.
“It has been a very stressful time for everyone, all through the pandemic and even now but we’re fortunate to have loyal customers who continue to shop with us, and we continue to support our community too.
“The distribution of the Argyll and Bute Card has been a welcome boost from the council and we’ve definitely seen an increase in sales as a result of the card. It’s a win-win.”
The Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Cards works through the Mastercard system.
Councillor Alastair Redman, policy lead for economy growth and communities, said:
“Our local businesses are vital to Argyll and Bute’s ongoing economic recovery, providing employment to thousands of people.
It’s fantastic news that the Argyll and Bute cards are making a huge difference to local residents and businesses. Not only are they helping to support people with the cost of living crisis, they continue to help the economy by keeping spending local.”
The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative was introduced in 2021 as a means to direct spend to local communities, and power economic recovery, delivered by Scotland’s Town Partnership (STP) and Perth based fintech Miconex.
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said: “The Argyll and Bute Card is designed to encourage people to discover, or rediscover, their local area, which is exactly what’s happening in Argyll and Bute. This money is out there in the local area, waiting to be spent with local businesses. This a huge opportunity for Argyll and Bute businesses to bring in new customers and new sales in 2023. There’s still time for merchants to sign up to accept the card as payment.”
Further information about the distribution of the £120 Scotland Loves Local Argyll and Bute Gift Cards can be found at: https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/scotland-loves-local-argyll-and-bute-gift-card and business can sign up to accept the card for free at: https://lovelocal.scot/register-your-business/