The Scotland Loves Local Fife Gift Card can be spent with over 140 businesses in Fife. Fife Council has used the Fife Gift Card in a number of community initiatives:
Lindsay Gilfillan is a Dunfermline area anti-poverty and community wealth building Project Manager at Fife Council and said:
“At Christmas time we provide hampers to families in need in the Dunfermline area, which are distributed just before Christmas. The hamper contains everything that a family will need for their Christmas dinner, including starters, meat, vegetables and a pudding. For Christmas 2022, we decided to include a £20 Scotland Loves Local Fife Gift Card too.
“Families can use their Fife Gift Card on something that they want, or something that they need. It offers flexibility to spend as they choose. Everyone is struggling right now, but for some families, it is incredibly hard. The gift card will give families a little extra this Christmas, whether that’s topping up gas and electricity for Christmas day, buying a gift or two to put under the tree or even to go towards a family activity.
“In the past we’ve provided cash to families, which sought to provide flexibility on where they make purchases and when. The great thing about using the Fife Gift Card is that, unlike cash, we have statistics from the cards to show where they were used and when. This is important for demonstrating the impact of initiatives for our families and helps us better direct support towards what families need.
“Every time a family uses a Fife Gift Card in Dunfermline, it is benefiting our local businesses. Fife businesses went above and beyond to serve the community during the pandemic, and continue to do so now. Using the Fife Gift Card as a council is one way for us to say thank you to our businesses. Trading conditions remain challenging for businesses, and every pound spent locally matters.
“There are so many ways that the Fife Gift Card can be used in our area, from disbursement of funds to low income families, to staff rewards and tourism. We are only just starting to explore the opportunities. The future potential of the card is huge. For any businesses that are not yet signed up to accept the card, I encourage them to do so. It’s free to join, requires no new equipment and is a route to new customers and new sales. There’s no down-side to being involved.”
Scott Blyth is an anti-poverty and community wealth building Project Manager at Fife Council and said:
“As part of work to engage and consult with local communities, a series of workshops were held to gather views on future plans for the Cowdenbeath Area and Lochore Meadows Country Park. This was delivered in partnership with Strathclyde University and the Democratic Society, who helped fund and deliver the workshops. We purchased £8000 of Scotland Loves Local Fife Gift Cards, which were provided incredibly fast to support our project.
“As a ‘thank you’ for attending, a Scotland Loves Local Fife Gift Card was provided to participants, which they could use in local businesses. This means the money is being reinvested in our local area while giving people choice over how they spend the gift card. It also encourages people to visit our local shops and high streets, which is great for the local economy.
“With all the challenges that businesses face, using the Fife Gift Card shows that we have their backs. When providing gift cards to participants we wanted to ensure that it was universally accepted and appreciated, and met the needs of a diverse range of individuals. By using the Fife Gift Card recipients can immediately identify retailers and other local businesses that they already use. It can be used to support their monthly spend or for a special purchase, as it offers plenty of choice.
“Fife Council is committed to community wealth building, which helps retain wealth in the local area, supporting the local economy and our communities. Using local suppliers and encouraging people to shop local is critical, so the Fife Gift Card provides a great way to do this. We hope to make use of the Fife Gift Card again in the future and I’d encourage more businesses throughout the area to sign up to accept them.”