A new District Towns Gift Card is being introduced for Falkirk, Denny, Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth and Bo'ness, funded by the Scottish Resilience Fund.
The District Towns Gift Card can be redeemed with over 100 businesses in the district, and is designed to keep money locked into the local economy through the shop local movement. The Falkirk district is the latest Scottish area to launch a Town and City Gift Cards programme from Scottish fintech Miconex.
Each gift card is a prepaid Mastercard that can be spent across numerous transactions, on leisure, retail, services and hospitality. District Towns Gift Cards can be purchased in the Howgate Shopping Centre, or online, with the option to add a personalised message.
Falkirk Council and Falkirk Delivers received funding to develop the gift card programme for Falkirk, Denny, Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth and Bo'ness from the Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund. The £1m resilience and recovery project was funded by the Scottish Government and facilitated by Scotland’s Towns Partnerships.
Elaine Grant, Bid Manager for Falkirk Delivers said “Shop local is incredibly important for the survival and recovery of our towns, this has been the basis of our welcome back campaign.
“The loyalty shown for our businesses, across our district, is stronger than ever. When we surveyed residents, 83% agreed or strongly agreed that shopping locally was important to them. The introduction of the District Towns Gift Card is an easy way for people to support their town, especially as we approach the Christmas period.”
Local business owner Lisa Fowler of gift shop Scarlet Ribbons in Falkirk used social media to provide a bespoke gifting service for her customers during lockdown, giving a choice of gift and card, writing customer messages and hand delivering or posting gifts to the recipient. Lisa is gearing up for the Christmas period and welcomes the introduction of the District Towns Gift Card:
“Customers really appreciated my lockdown gifting service, with one customer even giving me a bouquet of flowers in thanks. I took most of my stock home and adapted my business model to allow me to continue trading. My house became a picking, packing and wrapping station.
“I didn’t have a website before lockdown, but I’m the process of setting this up. I didn’t cancel any of my Christmas stock because I didn’t want to let any of my suppliers down, so I’ve got a huge amount invested in Christmas. What I’ve noticed is that people are shopping early and they’re shopping local, which as a business owner, I’m so grateful for.
“The new District Towns Gift Card is a brilliant way that people can support local businesses. We need to embrace the changes and think outside the box if we want our businesses to stay open.”
The District Towns Gift Card will launch with a Sky TV campaign, and will also be featured in local print and broadcast media advertising campaigns.
There are existing Town and City Gift Card programmes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Glasgow’s West End, Arran, Crieff, Elgin, Kirkwall, Milngavie, Perth, Shawlands and St. Andrews with district cards in East Ayrshire and East Lothian. New Town and City Gift Cards will launch in Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy and rural Scotland in November.
Managing director of Miconex Colin Munro said the introduction of the District Towns Gift Card has come at the right time:
“Lots of people will be starting to think about Christmas presents but also want a viable alternative to Amazon that keeps money in their local area, supporting local employment. After a difficult 2020, businesses in Falkirk, Denny, Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth and Bo'ness are counting on a good Christmas, and by purchasing the District Towns Gift Card, you’re showing your support for them and your town.