Glasgow City Council today (22 June) approved the distribution of Covid Low-Income Gift Cards worth £105 to around 85,000 low-income households in the city.
These cards can be used in registered businesses in Glasgow, with more than 700 businesses of all sizes registered across the city so far, and almost 400 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the process of registering.
The council was given £9.456million by the Scottish Government for this project – from the Scotland Loves Local campaign – with this funding coming from the Scottish Government’s £80million Covid Recovery Fund.
£8.85million will be directly used to allocate the gift cards, with £423,110 to be used as discretionary funding by the council to support groups also impacted by the current cost of living crisis. The remainder of the funding will be used to cover the administrative costs of the scheme.
The Scotland Loves Local campaign looks to encourage people in Scotland to think local first and support businesses on their local high streets.
Data from the council tax system will now be used to identify Glasgow households entitled to Council Tax Reduction (CTR), which in turn will be used to identify which households would be eligible to receive a pre-paid gift card.
There are 780 businesses in Glasgow currently registered to accept the gift cards, and the council is working to encourage more to register and benefit from the scheme.
The Covid Low-Income Gift Cards will be administered by Miconex, the delivery partners for Scotland’s Towns Partnership. It is expected that the cards will be sent out directly to eligible households throughout July – there will be no need for an application process.
To reduce the risk of theft, the cards will require activation. The authentication process will see the card recipient being asked to enter their Scotland Loves Local Gift Card and National Insurance numbers on a dedicated website, and if the numbers match the record held, the balance will be immediately uploaded.
The council has established processes to deal with enquiries from residents.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The gift cards will give city businesses a much-needed lift following two years of the pandemic and the resulting impact on trade. But they also allow us to support tens of thousands of low-income households and individuals with practical assistance, something we hope can make a positive difference to them during the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.
“While the number of businesses signed up to the scheme continues to grow, we’re still encouraging as many as possible – especially small and medium-sized companies – to sign up. We want local high streets across every one of Glasgow’s communities to benefit from this measure.”