Speaking on a visit to The Junction Retail and Leisure Park in Antrim, the Minister said: “By now, nearly everyone who applied for their Spend Local card has received it. Hundreds of thousands of shoppers have already used theirs in all parts of Northern Ireland. Already we have injected around £90million in much needed-spend into our retail, hospitality and service sectors.
“And it is working. The Northern Retail Consortium has reported that footfall is on the up while PwC recently predicted that spending on the high street will increase this Christmas.”
During his visit, the Minister met with a number of independent traders and heard how they have been benefitting from the High Street Scheme.
The Minister went on to say it is important that every card holder spends every penny on their card because in order to maximise the benefit to those traders hit hardest during the pandemic.
He went on to say: “Many of you may have spent most of your card, but maybe not all of it. If that is you, why not check your balance on the website?
“You may have a five, ten or even just a couple of pounds left. But if you have some money left, use it. When you are out and about this weekend, support your local coffee shop, newsagent, barbers, taxi driver or anyone who was hit hard during the pandemic. Every penny counts so spend it now, spend it all and spend it local.”
The Minister also reminded card holders that as well as spending local, they can also support businesses through shopping safely by wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and using contactless payment where possible.
Cardholders can check their balance, view transaction history, terms and conditions or find answers to frequently asked questions relating to the cards by visiting: https://clients.prepaidfinancialservices.com/nistimulus/login.aspx