The Love Drogheda Gift Card has gone live in the town in a bid to drive local economic recovery. The gift card is a prepaid Mastercard that works like local currency, locking money into Drogheda, and can be redeemed with over 150 businesses in the area.
The new Love Drogheda Gift Card is the latest initiative from Drogheda Business Improvement District (BID) which commenced operation in January 2020.
Technology for the gift card programme is provided by Scottish tech firm Miconex. Drogheda joins Ballinrobe as the first two towns in the west and east of Ireland to have Town and City Gift Cards programmes from Miconex. Northern Ireland have existing Town and City Gift Card schemes in Enniskillen, Belfast, Strabane and the Causeway Coast and Glens, with a new Antrim programme launching in November.
Trevor Connolly, Chief Executive Officer at Drogheda BID worked for Monaghan prior to Drogheda and has evidenced the impact of gift card programmes:
“The Monaghan Gift Card was hugely successful with over €2.7 million spent through the programme and locked into the town. However, this was a paper based scheme which was very difficult to operate. We needed 6 people working on the programme, hand stamping and embossing the vouchers. There was the security risk too. For Drogheda, we wanted a scheme that would be as impactful for our businesses, but less admin heavy and that’s what the Love Drogheda Gift Card offers.”
“With 40,000 residents, Drogheda is a bigger town than Monaghan, so the potential here for a successful programme is even greater. The benefits of keeping money in the town are clear. Half a million euros kept in the local economy is equivalent to around 15 jobs.”
“For customers too, the Love Drogheda card means more choice. If you buy a single retailer gift card, the recipient is restricted to using it in that one store but with the Love Drogheda Gift Card the whole town’s goods and services are open to you. Feed your family, heat your home, get a new Christmas outfit; through that choice it becomes a more thoughtful, valuable gift.”
“Working from home is more common now in Drogheda, and people are shopping in town rather than the city. But more than this, people want to support Drogheda. The resilience we’ve seen from our businesses has been fantastic. In the hospitality sector, we’ve got our lovely sit in restaurants putting extraordinary effort into their takeaway offering. Our residents want to give something back to businesses. With the Love Drogheda Gift Card, we’re providing the opportunity to do that.”
“Our Christmas switch on will be virtual this year and broadcast across local TV with lots of musical numbers. We all still want and need that festive spirit this year, it’s just going to be done differently. With the level 5 restrictions currently in place, the Drogheda Gift Card gives people the opportunity to shop locally online.”
“Many employers will also be thinking about how to reward their staff this Christmas with parties being cancelled. The Love Drogheda Gift Card is a way they can reward staff and support the town at the same time. In Ireland, we benefit from the small benefit scheme where up to €500 can be given to employees each year tax free as a gift card.”
Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex said: “It’s inspiring to see the drive and determination from Drogheda BID to ensure the success of the Love Drogheda Gift Card, locking in spend. Through the gift card programme, the whole of Drogheda becomes one giant department store.”
“The cards purchased for Christmas will tend to be redeemed in the first three months of the year, a traditionally quieter time for businesses which gives them much needed support for their quarter 1 trading period. Recipients tend to spend around 65% more on top of what they receive on a gift card, and it encourages people to be more adventurous, perhaps buying from businesses they’ve never used before.”