As the roll out of the £100 High Street Scheme continues, people across Northern Ireland have been supporting businesses by spending local and the benefits have been felt across all regions.
The Minister said: “We are hearing from those working in the retail, hospitality and service sectors across Northern Ireland that the High Street Scheme is helping to turn their businesses around after the pandemic. But there is ground still to cover until we reach recovery. That is why it is important that everyone spends every last penny on their £100 pre-paid Spend Local card in their local businesses.”
Lorna Pegg is from family owned business Sew’n’Knit in Lisburn which was first established over 30 years ago. They have seen an uplift in customers using their Spend Local cards.
Lorna said: “I have had a lot of customers using their High Street voucher towards new sewing machines. This is great to see as a sewing machine is a one off purchase.
“There is a buzz in the city centre as people seem to be generally happier when out and about spending their hundred pounds High Street voucher.”
Minister Lyons said it is important that people activate their cards and spend their £100 in full. He emphasised once again that the objective of the scheme is to stimulate recovery in local businesses by spending in bricks and mortar shops rather than online.
Brent Kieran from Edge Hairdressing in Newry has seen customers use their cards more frequently in recent weeks.
He said: “We have noticed customers using their £100 cards to treat themselves and we hope that in the run up to Christmas this will continue and customers will buy gift vouchers for other people.
“It’s great to see the buzz in the salon and things feel positive for the rest of the year.”
The scheme closure date is the 14th December. To date over 1.36 million Spend Local cards have been dispatched with over 1.1 million activated and in use.
Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges in Enniskillen are encouraged by the number of customers using their cards across their facilities.
General Manager, David Morrison said: “As a local family run hotel for 45 years, it is fantastic to see people choosing to use their Spend Local Cards to ‘Make Memories by The Lakes’, guests are using their cards towards a lakeside staycation in our luxury hotel guestrooms as well as our self-catering stay lodges; others are choosing to enjoy lunch and some are enjoying some much needed relaxation with an Elemis treatment at Kalm Spa.
“The scheme has been a welcome pre-Christmas boost to business.”
The Minister concluded: “It is fantastic to see local businesses benefit from the scheme as the public use their cards on their local high streets, I would urge people to continue spending and supporting local business ahead of the scheme closure date on 14th December.”
Anyone who applied for a Spend Local Card but has not received any communication from the Department regarding the status of their application should contact [email protected].