Launched in 2020, the Scotland Loves Local campaign has encouraged people to support their local town centres, unlocking community spending power. Phil Prentice, Chief Officer at Scotland’s Towns Partnership, tells us about the latest initiative: a Scottish Government-funded Scotland Loves Local Gift Card.
As Scotland recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for us all to think local first has never been greater. Scotland’s local authorities have been in the vanguard of encouraging that localist approach.
Launched in July 2020, our Scotland Loves Local campaign has encouraged people to support their local town centres out of a sense of localism, loyalty and community solidarity. Through it, we have celebrated Scotland’s high street heroes and been credited with shining a spotlight on the importance of local businesses and, critically, the people behind them.
And this has paid off. From our engagement with the general public and communities across Scotland, we know that the emotional drive behind the campaign has encouraged more people to think local first. Indeed, two-thirds of Scots shoppers have told us that they always shop on their local high street – when they can – rather than travel further afield.
That is why we are delighted to be working with Miconex to launch the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card – presenting a key opportunity for the general public to show their thanks to local businesses that have been there for their communities like never before in the past year.
The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is a localised product for each of the country’s 32 local authority areas, and will be rolled out in June. The primary objective is simple: to encourage consumers to spend money locally, in turn supporting local businesses that are emerging from the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions – and, vitally, retaining and multiplying that spend in Scotland’s communities.
The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is completely free for participating businesses, and uses the MasterCard network, meaning that it can be accepted by small independents as well as national retailers that operate within our local communities.
We want every local business to be able to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card. To make this possible, we are encouraging every Scottish local authority to sign the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card Concordat which will signal the authority’s support for promoting the initiative in its area. In signing the Concordat, local authorities will enable the active participation of businesses across Scotland, helping to protect jobs and create a more sustainable, stronger future.
This is a tremendous opportunity. By participating, councils can help businesses in their region unlock a new level of local spending – one which will help businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic and build for a future that has localism at its heart.
The initiative is being rolled out with full support of the Scottish Government, meaning that there are no sign-up or launch costs for local authorities. All merchant support and product fulfillment will be undertaken by our delivery partners, Miconex, and we will work directly with each council to launch the Gift Card – providing materials and communications support as per your needs.
The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is a gift to the whole community and will ensure that money that is spent locally, stays local for longer. For more information on the initiative and our ask of local authorities, please go to www.lovelocal.scot/giftcard.
To arrange a discussion on the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card for your local authority, or if you have any questions, please contact Kimberley Guthrie at: firstname.lastname@example.org.