‘Spend it independent’ retail body urges as telephone line opens for High Street voucher scheme

Retail NI CEO Glynn Roberts and Economy Minister Gordon Lyons pictured for the 'Spend it Independent' campaign.

Northern Ireland’s shoppers are being encouraged to Spend It Independent and support the local independent retail sector with their High Street Spend Local Pre-Paid Card as the High Street Scheme begins to rollout.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons MLA has launched Retail NI’s ‘Spend it Independent’ campaign which encourages the public to make a special effort to use their £100 ‘Spend Local’ pre-paid cards with independent retailers.

Over one million applications for the card have been made to date.

The campaign is highlighting that spending the card at an independent retailer will help revitalise local communities, towns and city centres and maximise the scheme’s impact on the Northern Ireland economy.

Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts, said: “The High Street Scheme is a very welcome step in the long road to recovery for Northern Ireland’s independent retail sector. Local traders are the backbone of local communities and contribute significantly to the Northern Irish economy.

"The last 18 months have posed enormous challenges to local retailers, and by spending it independent, you are maximizing the impact that the High Street Scheme will have on the local economy.”

“When using spend local card, it must be remembered that a little spend will have a big effect. For every £1 spent in an independent retailer, for example, 70p is recycled around the local economy.

He added: “With the £100 Cards starting to be delivered to households across Northern Ireland, I would encourage everyone to Spend It Independent and give local independent retailers the support and boost they truly deserve.” From Monday applications for the or the Spend Local prepaid card can be made via telephone.

Those who do not have access to the internet or who are unable to apply online, can make their application for their card by calling 0800 046 8330. The service will operate from 8am– 6pm Monday to Friday until 25 October 2021.

Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons MLA, said: “As the Spend Local cards start to land in homes across Northern Ireland, my message to everyone who receives theirs is ‘spend local’. Please use your card to support your local shops, hospitality and other services which have been most affected by the Covid-19 restrictions.

“The objective of the £145million High Street Scheme is to boost local businesses following the drop in footfall brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. By giving everyone aged 18 and over in Northern Ireland a pre-paid card worth £100 to spend in local high businesses, we will encourage many more customers back through the doors of local retail, hospitality and services”

“By applying, receiving and ultimately spending your Spend Local card in local businesses such as shops, hospitality and other services before November 30, you will be doing your bit to support your local businesses.”