People in Jersey will see their £100 Spend Local cards dropping through their letterboxes from today.
The £11 million scheme is aimed at boosting the island’s economy and helping local businesses through the pandemic.
The pre-paid Mastercards are being sent out to every man, woman and child who was resident in Jersey on or before Tuesday 30 June 2020.
The cards will need to be activated online or over the phone. They can then be used as part- payment towards a large purchase or used several times for smaller transactions or services.
Islanders can spend the cards almost anywhere in Jersey, but are being asked to think carefully about how the money can best benefit the local economy. John Garton from Genuine Jersey says spending locally can be big boost for on-island businesses who have faced hard times.
The CI Co-operative is encouraging customers to think about spending their £100 with smaller producers rather than in Co-op shops, so that the scheme can best help smaller businesses.
A number of businesses are offering shoppers incentives to encourage them to spend the cards with them.
While the cards cannot be spent directly online, they can go to any local company that takes Mastercard payments over the phone.
One online retailer will be doing just that. She welcomes the scheme but feels it should have been restricted to businesses that most need the money.
The cards cannot be donated or given away. However, those who can afford it are being encouraged to make a donation to charity once they have spent their £100.
Islanders will have until Saturday 31 October to spend the cash. After that, the government is asking people to keep hold of their card, in case it decides to do a similar scheme in the future.
If islanders do not receive their card, they should wait until at least Wednesday 16 September before contacting Customer and Local Services.
The government also says that islanders may find that their name or address looks slightly different on the card as they will be shortened to fit. Their details are still correct on government records and the card will still be eligible for use.