Glasgow City Council is providing the cards to support lower income households during the cost of living crisis, and also hopes to boost businesses recovering from the pandemic by ensuring money is reinvested locally.
Households in receipt of council tax reduction as of June 1, 2022, are being urged to watch out for the envelopes, branded with ‘Love local, love Glasgow’, arriving.
The letters will contain details about how to use the gift cards, including a unique activation code, when they are delivered to homes in mid-August.
Council leader Susan Aitken said: “The 85,000 cards that we’ll soon be sending out will secure a double benefit for communities across Glasgow.
“They will give extra spending power to lower-income households, right across the city, at a time when they are facing the worst pressures in decades — but they will also deliver a much-needed economic stimulus and a real boost to local businesses in our high streets, while they are still recovering from the covid pandemic.”
She added: “It’s really important that people keep the first letter they receive safe, so they are able to activate their card and enjoy all the benefits of shopping local — and that businesses take a look at how the scheme can work for them.”
Gift cards can only be spent within Glasgow and with businesses registered to accept them. Over 700 places, including shops, places to eat, salons and visitor attractions, have signed up to the scheme.
Funding for the project has been allocated from a £9.45m economic recovery package awarded to the council by the Scottish Government.
It is expected the cards will deliver a one-off injection of over £8m into city businesses, but organisers also believe the scheme could unlock millions more by encouraging people to spend time in their local area. Gift cards, provided as an extension of the Scotland Loves Local campaign led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, are also available for anyone to buy and use.
The partnership’s chief officer, Phil Prentice, said: “We know that people are keen to get out and start using their Scotland Loves Local Glasgow gift cards, which is great. Glasgow City Council is breaking new ground for the scale in which the cards are used to directly support people.
“This will help households trying to manage the cost of living and businesses as they work to build a better post-pandemic future. It’s about local people supporting each other.”
Perth-based fintech firm Miconex is administering and delivering the cards. Managing director Colin Munro said: “We cannot wait for people and businesses across Glasgow to feel the benefit of the gift card.
“The council’s innovative use of them will ensure the money makes a difference to people’s lives while supporting local businesses and jobs.
“Please, if you receive a letter, put it somewhere safe because you will need the details within it to activate your gift cards when it arrives in August.”
To find out more about the gift cards, go to the Glagsow Loves Local website.