Corporate gifting can be key to your Town and City Gift Cards programme, particularly in 2020 when employers are looking for new ways to reward staff after a difficult year.
A survey published in HR Review found that less than one fifth of UK customers are still planning an office Christmas party for 2020. Employers who swap an office party for your gift card can benefit from the UK trivial benefits scheme, giving employees a gift card of up to £50 without paying tax. The Gift Card and Voucher Association valued the UK gift card market at £7bn in 2019, also reporting that 98.6% of gift cards are spent within a year of being received and 65% will be spent on top of the value of the card received.
Here we share stories of how our places are approaching corporate gifting:
Watford in Hertfordshire introduced its Watford Gift Card in February 2020, and have had success in attracting corporate orders for their gift card. Glen Hempenstall, Watford Business Improvement District’s marketing and communications manager said the Watford Gift Card was a way for employers to show their support for their employees, and the local area too:
“Our biggest order was from Watford Council for 240 gift cards at £20 each, a £4800 order for us. This wasn’t actually Christmas related but as a thank you to staff for their work during the pandemic. For an employer, there’s a dual benefit of rewarding staff with something they will appreciate and can spend in a variety of ways in Watford but there’s the business benefit of proactively supporting the town too.
“2020 has been a very difficult year for businesses. We heard that Watford Council were looking for a different way to support businesses, so we got in touch with the business liaison manager and suggested the Watford Gift Card to them. Instead of a £20 Amazon gift card with the money going out of the area, employees have a £20 Watford Gift Card and that money is locked into our local economy.”
Salisbury launched its Salisbury Gift Card in June 2018. A cathedral city with a high proportion of independent retailers, Salisbury has previously received corporate orders for its gift card from the night time economy.
Robin McGowan, chief executive of Salisbury BID said that the Salisbury Gift Card is a socially conscious choice for employers wanting to support Salisbury:
“This year we’ve had a number of employers contact us directly to purchase cards for their staff, including a doctor’s surgery who have purchased 80 cards. Every pound we keep circulating in Salisbury is money we are locking into our economy to drive recovery of the city. It’s our 800th anniversary of Salisbury this year, we all want and need our city to prosper and this is a way that employers can support Salisbury with a gift that their employees will appreciate.2
Drogheda- launching November 2020
Over on the east coast of Ireland, Drogheda Business Improvement District is getting ready to launch their Love Drogheda Gift Card in early November. Key to the strategic introduction of the programme is corporate sales:
“In a gift card programme, there is the potential for up to 80% of sales to come through corporate gift giving. In Ireland, we benefit from the small benefit scheme whereby you can give employees up to €500 tax free each year. A lot of Christmas parties won’t be able to go ahead this year. What we hope businesses in Drogheda will do instead is reward employees with the Love Drogheda gift card. My approach would be to research likely employers, contact the CFO and set up a face to face meeting so you can answer questions there and then.”
Ballinrobe- launching November 2020
In the west of Ireland, Ballinrobe Community Development Council (CDC) and Ballinrobe Enterprise Organisation (BEO) will launch their Lake District Gift Card in November. Ballinrobe CDC and BEO have been working with employers in the area on the launch of the card, and also plan to promote it to Ballinrobe diaspora living overseas, said Richard Burke, Chairperson of BEO:
“When we were looking to introduce a gift card, one of the first steps was to talk to the major employers in the area. It was key for us that they would support the gift card programme by using it for staff rewards and incentives. By talking to employers in this early stage, they helped us to see the benefit of extending the card out to neighbouring villages, because employees might live in one village but travel to work in another.”
“Having the wider choice of places to spend the card made it more attractive to employers and employees,” said Chairperson of Ballinrobe CDC Pat Donnellan: “With major companies on board with the project, we pressed ahead with the Lake District Gift Card. As a small town, we have to be proactive about finding solutions to help ourselves. Employers, employees and residents all have a responsibility to support our area.”