Local businesses in Southport are being invited to sign up to the new Southport Gift Card as the date for the easing of national Covid lockdown restrictions gets closer.
Southport Gift Card was launched by the Southport Business Improvement District last year as a way of giving a boost to our local economy while encouraging people to spend local
From Monday, 12 April, if all goes well, businesses which will be allowed to reopen will include: all shops; personal care; most outdoor attractions; indoor leisure including gyms; self-contained accommodation; all children’s activities; and outdoor hospitality.
Over 80 Southport town centre retailers, restaurants, cafes, bars and leisure venues have already signed up to accept the brand-new Southport Gift Card, with more added each week.
The card is ready to be spent in high street favourites such as M&S, The Entertainer, Flannels and Sports Direct plus dozens of popular independent favourites such as Volare, Reputation, Tap & Bottles and Over The Moon kids boutique.
Southport BID launched the initiative in order to encourage more people to spend money locally and to help firms recover from the Covid-19 lockdown.
Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said: “As businesses in our town get ready to reopen, now is the perfect time to sign up to the new Southport Gift Card..
“Setting up is easy and is a great way of encouraging people to support the many great places that we have here.
“I am absolutely delighted that so many retailers, venues, cafes, restaurants, attractions and other service businesses have signed up and see the value of the Southport Gift Card.
“I would also encourage anyone to buy Southport Gift Cards, which make a great gift for friends and family and can be redeemed at dozens of places in town.
“When lockdown restrictions finally ease, it will be more important than ever for people to ‘shop local’, ‘spend local’ and support our local businesses. The Southport Gift Card is a great way of keeping spend right at the heart of the local economy.”
The new scheme works exactly like any other shop gift card scheme. The purchaser can pre-load from £10 up to £200 on a card that they give as a present to colleagues, friends or family members. The card can then be spent just like any other debit card and they can purchase from any venue accepting it and spread their spend across as many venues as they wish.
The Mastercard-based gift card could also be used by the town centre’s many offices and companies as an incentive for employees and colleagues.
Rachel Fitzgerald said: “The card will help small businesses to compete against the online giants, and bring people directly into our stores and onto our high street. So rather than buying Amazon or Google gift cards why not choose to give the Southport Gift Card? It’s easy to use and ensures that your money is spent locally, so you’re supporting local businesses with your purchase.”
Southport BID has partnered with Miconex to deliver the pre-payment gift card with the aim to have it accepted in over 150 stores, hospitality venues or attractions. Similar town gift cards across the country have seen tens of thousands kept in the local economy a year.
Tracy Badley Robinson, who owns the Element5 Hair & Beauty salon on Tulketh Street in Southport town centre, said: “I think Southport Gift Cards are a fantastic idea to offer people as an alternative gift.
“At Element5 we will be embracing and telling all our clients about them.
“Even better it helps spending in Southport which in turn and most importantly it helps build our local economy, which we desperately need to do especially now in the aftermath of Covid.
“I personally often buy gift cards for friends and family, but I will now be buying Southport Gift Cardsm for them.
“I have every faith that the residents of Southport get right behind them.”