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Local MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden Rona Mackay has called for business to sign up to new local gift card scheme that will keep spending local for longer.

East Dunbartonshire is soon to have its own local gift card in a milestone move encouraging people across the region to back local businesses when they need it most. The scheme has the backing of SNP MSP Rona Mackay, hailing initiative as the “starting gun” for the region’s economic fightback from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The significant show of support for local businesses across East Dunbartonshire is being delivered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) - the organisation spearheading the Scotland Loves Local Campaign. The Gift Card scheme is a partnership with Perth-based fintech specialist Miconex, and is being supported by the Scottish Government.

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is being rolled out across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas with the creation of 32 unique regional gift cards, which can only be spent in businesses located in the region.

With the platform to purchase the regional gift cards launching later this year, businesses across Scotland are being urged to undertake a quick, free sign-up process in order to receive payments via the gift card.

Commenting, Ms Mackay said: “The new Scotland Loves Local Gift Card programme is great news for businesses across Strathkelvin and Bearsden. The Gift Card holds the power to drive significant spending locally - helping secure jobs and build a more sustainable, vibrant future for communities and people across the region.

“I encourage all businesses and merchants across East Dunbartonshire to sign up to receive payments via the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card. Signing up is quick, simple, and free - and will allow people across the region to show their support for all that their local businesses have done for them since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the starting gun in our economic fightback against COVID-19 and could be a game-changer in driving the region’s recovery.”

STP and Miconex are working with local authorities to launch the regional gift card, with the first year of costs being met by the Scottish Government. There are no registration costs for businesses, and signing up takes a matter of minutes. Payments are processed as part of the Mastercard network.

Scotland Loves Local is the campaign urging people to think local first by spending in businesses and attractions around them - evoking the strong community spirit witnessed at the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

STP Chief Officer Phil Prentice said: “We have never valued local life, the people and businesses around us more. The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative embraces that.

“We can’t wait to see people loving local life by using their region’s gift card, whether that be while out shopping, meeting friends for a coffee or meal - or making a day of it and doing it all. This is an ideal way of supporting the brilliant businesses in our communities.

“These gift cards will be a remarkably powerful way of unlocking spending potential - and keeping that money in local communities for longer. The more businesses that sign up, the better the local experience will be. We have had tremendous interest and support so far.

“Local businesses need our support - our communities need our support. Businesses can help people to be there for them by becoming part of Scotland Loves Local family. There has never been a scheme on this scale in Scotland.”


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