‘Spend local, spend it all and spend it now’ says Minister

As the roll-out of the £100 High Street Scheme continues, people across Mid and East Antrim have been urged to spend it all, spend it now and spend local.

That’s the message from Economy Minister Gordon Lyons as the public focus turns from applying for the prepaid cards to spending the £100 in order to give our high streets an economic boost.

There have been a total of 1.43 million applications to the scheme and the distribution of the cards is continuing at full pace with over one million cards having been dispatched.

The Minister said it is important that people activate their cards and begin spending their £100. He said: “This scheme is designed to give an economic boost to our retail, hospitality and service sectors. For the businesses to receive the maximum benefit it is important people start spending their £100 in local shops and businesses and spend every penny from the pre-paid card.”

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons

The Minister has extended the deadline to use the pre-paid card to December 14. He added: “It is vitally important that everyone spends the full £100 on their Spend Local card so that we maximise the benefit to our local businesses including retail, hospitality and service sectors. The extra two-week period will also allow card holders who have some balance left on their card to spend it in local businesses. For anyone who has any balance left on their card, no matter how small, my message is: please go out and spend it locally. Buy a coffee, a breakfast, a newspaper or magazine, or even a small present for someone this Christmas. Maximise the Spend Local card. Every penny spent will help.

“By extending the deadline, we can encourage more people to purchase Christmas presents, Christmas decorations and even food for Christmas dinner in their local area rather than online. As more people receive their Spend Local cards, I urge them to activate it as soon as they get it and then spend every single last penny on it. And remember to Spend Local.”

Jonny Small, from family-owned Ballymena sportswear retailer, Style ‘N’ Sport said the scheme has helped increase footfall in the store. He said: “We’ve been really encouraged to see people coming in with their Spend Local cards. We’ve had a good range of customers deciding to treat

themselves to items such as a new pair of trainers or the new Manchester United and Ulster Rugby kits. So far, the scheme seems to be really positive, and we look forward to welcoming more customers in store to use their Spend Local card.”