Spend Local Card scheme extended in Northern Ireland

RGDATA urged Minister Noonan to refrain from introducing new VAT or excise increases in October's Budget

Shoppers have heeded the call to support their local independent retailers, says Retail NI's Glyn Roberts

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2 November 2021 | 0

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Northern Irish shoppers have now been given until 14 December to use their free £100 vouchers, as part of a government scheme designed to support local retailers to recover from the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Given the administrative challenges around the registration of the card, it is understandable that an extension of two weeks was needed to ensure that shoppers have time to spend their card with local retailers,” said Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts.

“Retail NI hope that the problems around the scheme will be quickly resolved as we want to see as many cards dispatched to as many eligible shoppers as possible to maximise the spend in our members’ stores to boost our high streets and local economy,” Roberts added.

“We are optimistic that this extension will not displace the traditional Christmas spend and that consumers will continue to use their card to support independent retailers,” he continued. “It is very clear that shoppers have heeded our call to support their local independent retailers with some very positive feedback from our members.”

Last week, Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said that 900,000 high street voucher cards would be issued to people in Northern Ireland over the course of the week. In the three weeks since the first of the Spend Local cards were issued, 500,000 people had already received one.

Retail NI had previously described the high street scheme as “a very welcome step in the long road to recovery for Northern Ireland’s independent retail sector”.

“For every £1 spent in an independent retailer, for example, 70p is recycled around the local economy,” Roberts said.

“By using your £100 to support local traders, you are ensuring that every penny goes towards boosting your local community, high street, or town centre.”

While shoppers can choose to use the card anywhere, including at supermarkets, convenience stores and cafes, Glyn said he would “encourage everyone to Spend It Independent and give local independent retailers the support and boost they truly deserve”.

 

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