Posted by Louise Prance on 1 February 2024
Significant show of support in drive for people to choose local and to help businesses in their communities thrive during festive period and beyond.
Sales of gift cards designed specifically to lock spending into local economies across Scotland have topped £1m for the first time. Corporate orders - mainly rewards for staff - have made up half of the sales of Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards across the country throughout 2023.
Cards can be spent with both national retailers and independent businesses. The figure is on top of about £14m-worth of spending through the gift cards after they were used by six local authorities across Scotland to support low-income households in late 2022 - and, in turn, businesses in their region - through the cost-of-living crisis and longer-term recovery from Covid-19.
The gift cards are an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local initiative, the drive spearheaded by Scotland's Towns Partnership (STP) and supported by the Scottish Government for people to build stronger, more sustainable communities by choosing local - putting the shops, services and attractions in their area first.
STP Chief Officer Kimberley Guthrie said: "To reach £1m in sales for the year is fantastic - a real success story for local businesses across Scotland. "The reality is that this is an investment for communities which is well in excess of £1m because we know that when people go into communities to spend their gift cards, they generally spend far more than its value, supporting all manner of local businesses - enjoying shopping, something to eat and time with friends or family.
"More than that, the cards are helping remind people of the great businesses on their doorstep and encouraging them to return time and again - supporting jobs and creating better places in which to live, work and visit.
"Hopefully the cards gifted by organisations as corporate and volunteer rewards this Christmas will be a present for places in the final festive run-in and throughout 2024 as people venture out to spend."