The Minister was speaking after 1.43m applications were submitted for the Spend Local card. Applications for the High Street Scheme closed at midnight yesterday.
He said: “We had expected demand for the Spend Local card to be high and that around 1.4m people would apply. I am delighted that we have received over 1.43m applications and have already issued over 667,000 Spend Local cards.
“Already over £13m has been poured back into our economy. When the scheme is completed, we will see a significant boost to our economy, especially the retail, hospitality and service sectors which have been so adversely impacted by the pandemic.”
The Minister went on to say: “We have also verified over 1.2m applications. This means that those who have yet to receive their card should do so in the near future. My department is now working very hard to ensure that we verify the remaining applications as soon as possible."
When an applicant receives their card, they will need to activate the card through a computer-operated phone system or text message and make the first payment using a pin, before they can start to use it for contactless payments.
The Minister added: “As more and more people receive their cards, I would urge them to activate it as soon as they get it and then spend every last penny on it. Remember to spend it local.”