Glasgow City Council has confirmed that around 85,000 households will receive gift cards worth just over £100.
It comes as the local authority approved their distribution today (June 22) with selected homes to receive the Covid Low-Income Gift Cards valued at £105.
The cards can be used at registered businesses across the city with 780 businesses of all sizes signed up so far. Almost 400 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are in the process of registering with more being encouraged to follow suit.
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The council was given £9.456 million by the Scottish Government for the project from the Scotland Loves Local campaign which encourages communities to “think, choose and love local” with this funding coming from the Scottish Government’s £80million Covid Recovery Fund.
From this, £8.85 million will be directly used to allocate the gift cards with £423,110 to be used as discretionary funding by the council to support groups also impacted by the current cost of living crisis.
The remainder of the money will then be used to cover the administrative costs of the scheme.
So what do you need to know about the scheme?
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What is the Scotland Loves Local gift card and how does it work?
The Scotland Loves Local gift card is said to be a new way for people to discover local businesses. They can be used online and in-store however they must be located within your region, for example, Glasgow.
They work like any other gift card and the company – which can be any size or type – must be signed up to the scheme for you to spend the card there.
Despite people being able to purchase items online, the business themselves must have a physical presence in the city and consumers have 12 months to use it.
How can I tell if I’m eligible for the Scotland Loves Local gift card?
GCC have said that data from the council tax system will be used to identify Glasgow households who are entitled to council tax reduction, which in turn will be used to identify which households would be eligible to receive a pre-paid gift card.
The Covid Low-Income Gift Cards will be administered by Miconex, the delivery partners for Scotland’s Towns Partnership. It is expected that the cards will be sent out directly to eligible households throughout July – there will be no need for an application process.
To reduce the risk of theft, the cards will require activation. The authentication process will see the card recipient being asked to enter their Scotland Loves Local Gift Card and National Insurance numbers on a dedicated website, and if the numbers match the record held, the balance will be immediately uploaded.
What do you think of the scheme? Have your say in the comments below.
The council has established processes to deal with inquiries from residents.
Councilor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The gift cards will give city businesses a much-needed lift following two years of the pandemic and the resulting impact on trade. But they also allow us to support tens of thousands of low-income households and individuals with practical assistance, something we hope can make a positive difference to them during the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.
“While the number of businesses signed up to the scheme continues to grow, we’re still encouraging as many as possible – especially small and medium-sized companies – to sign up. We want local high streets across every one of Glasgow’s communities to benefit from this measure.”