Scotland Loves Local gift cards boost Glasgow economy by £7.59 million

Glasgow’s economy received a welcome boost from the scheme
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Action by Glasgow City Council to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis delivered a £7.59 million boost for city businesses.

In the summer of 2022, the council distributed Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards worth £105 to 85,000 low-income households across the city as a means of supporting people and families during the cost-of-living crisis, whilst also boosting the local economy.

And, one year on from the gift cards being sent to eligible households, the local authority and city businesses are acknowledging its impact as over just £7.59million has been spent in Glasgow businesses with the gift card.

Buchanan Street is one of Glasgow’s most recognisable streets where shoppers flock to.  Buchanan Street is one of Glasgow’s most recognisable streets where shoppers flock to.
Buchanan Street is one of Glasgow’s most recognisable streets where shoppers flock to.

The success of the programme is being highlighted as part of the first Scotland Loves Local Week, which is shining a spotlight on the critical need for everyone to choose local to help ensure the survival of businesses and services in their community, laying the foundations for a stronger future.

The Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Card can only be spent with registered businesses within Glasgow, locking money into the city’s economy with £626,000 still remains to be spent on activated cards in Glasgow.

The ripple effects from the disbursement programme have been welcomed by businesses across Glasgow - coming as businesses recovered from the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

David Cox Butchers in Bridgeton participated in the Glasgow scheme, and owner George Gilmour said: “We signed up to accept the card online before the distribution of the £105 gift cards was announced, and it was very easy. The day that the gift cards arrived in the post to residents, we were inundated. We’d posted on our Facebook account to say that we accepted the gift card, but it was mainly word of mouth and customers coming in asking if they could use the cards with us.

As well as regular customers using their cards with us, we also saw lots of new faces, people who were choosing to shop local as a direct result of the gift card. And the great thing is that we’ve seen these people back in the shop, choosing to shop local, even once their gift card has been spent. I think the gift card has done what it set out to do, to show people they can get really good quality products and great service when they shop local. Every business should get involved because it’s a way to help their community; it’s a no-brainer.”

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is an extension of the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign, spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, encouraging people to think local first and support businesses in their area.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The distribution of Scotland Loves Local Glasgow Gift Cards helped many households in the city during the cost of living crisis, while at the same time supporting business based in Glasgow. These cards will continue to benefit local businesses and the city’s economy in Glasgow as the Scotland Loves Local scheme continues.”

Kimberley Guthrie, Interim Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “Glasgow’s innovative use of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card has not only provided lifeline support to households during a cost-of-living crisis, but a multi-million injection into the city’s economy, generating trade for local businesses as well as supporting jobs.

“This goes to show the true power of the Scotland Loves Local Gift card as a force for good locally - benefiting businesses and the people they serve, and showcasing the versatility of the card as a local currency. Money spent locally in Glasgow stays local for longer.”

Card holders can spend their gift cards with 950 city businesses, with more being urged to register and benefit from the programme here.