EAST Ayrshire shops, cafes, restaurants, leisure and entertainment venues are set to get a boost as they emerge from lockdown with the introduction of a new gift card.

The East Ayrshire Gift Card is a loyalty card, to be bought online or in participating businesses, to help boost the local economy.

It was approved last week by the local authority’s executive committee and the scheme will be introduced later this summer.

It was launched in a joint initiative with both their town centre team, working with Kilmarnock and Cumnock Business Associations and traders in all villages and towns of East Ayrshire.

Councillor Jim Roberts, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure said: “Something that has been obvious to many of us as we’re faced this pandemic, is firstly the devastating effect closure and lockdown has had on our local economy, and secondly, as food shortages hit and people haven’t been able to travel so easily.

“We’ve realised just how much we need our small local retailers, how much we miss a trip to a restaurant, coffee shop or cinema and how it is to have personal, local service – especially where so many have managed to adapt and offer delivery and online services.

“Our retailers, food and entertainment providers have done what they can where they can to keep us supplied, and as we emerge, it’s really important we now all do our bit to help support them through the time tough times which inevitably lie ahead.

“It’s for this reason that we’re delighted to be able to move towards the launch of this gift in conjunction with local businesses in all our towns and villages.

“With prepaid cards of values of their choosing, people will be able to give a valuable present, allowing users to choose from a huge range of participating venues from small family run enterprises to national chains throughout East Ayrshire.

“We hope this will help boost footfall, make phone or online purchasing easier and encourage people to try buying from or visiting places they’ve not previously been to or tried.

“Buying an East Ayrshire Gift Card keeps the money in circulation in the local area, helping support local businesses, jobs and families.

“For businesses, the scheme can only be an advantage, bringing in new customers and there is no deduction from them for cost of a purchase.”


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