As Covid restrictions continue to ease, Middlesbrough’s big name stores and independent businesses are being encouraged to sign up to the town’s gift card scheme.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses across Middlesbrough can sign up to the scheme for free.
It is hoped the Middlesbrough gift card will help support local businesses after months of closures due to Covid restrictions.
Operating in the same way as a regular store gift card, shoppers can purchase a card with a pre-loaded value that can be redeemed at any participating store.
The scheme is part of the UK and Ireland-wide Town and City Gift Card programme run by Scottish-based fintech Miconex.
It encourages people to support their high streets rather than spending online, which in turn helps to protect local businesses and jobs.
Middlesbrough Council signed up to the programme following the success of similar schemes in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.
Mayor Andy Preston said: “I’m asking as many businesses as possible in Middlesbrough to get on board with the Middlesbrough gift card.
“It’s free to join and it could help your business get more trade at a crucial time.
“The card is a fantastic tool that lets shoppers spend in a way that suits them, whilst knowing they are supporting our high street.
“We need to support local businesses now more than ever – we need to use them, or we’ll lose them.”
Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and commented: “Over £1.9 million was spent through our local gift card programmes in 2020, helping to support local people, local jobs and local businesses. Now Middlesbrough has its own gift card, shopping locally and keeping money locked into the town is easier than ever.
“76% of customers have purchased a gift card in the last three years. Customers will also be more adventurous when they receive a Middlesbrough Gift Card, trying out businesses they’ve never used. 62% will spend more than the value of the gift card they receive, and 96% of those will spend an extra £50 on top. Being a part of the Middlesbrough Gift Card is a great way for businesses to gain new customers as well as a new revenue stream.”
The gift card is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to support local business.
It has launched numerous campaigns to encourage people to buy local throughout the Covid pandemic, including the BuyBoro website and a partnership with Independent Teesside.
To sign up to the Middlesbrough gift card scheme, or to purchase a card, visit www.middlesbroughgiftcard.co.uk.