Taking the lead: Edinburgh Chamber shows its support for the city with local reward for staff

L to R: Lauren Ridgley_Eve Grant and Kate Nowakowska from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

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EDINBURGH Chamber of Commerce has shown its support for the city, choosing the Edinburgh Gift Card as a Christmas reward for its 45 staff members.

The Edinburgh Gift Card is one of over 20 Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards which went on sale in late November 2021, as part of the Scottish Government’s £10m of support for Scotland Loves Local. Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are being delivered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) alongside Miconex, the Perth based fintech behind the Town & City Gift Card programmes.

Evelyn Grant is the head of finance and corporate services at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and said the Edinburgh Gift Card aligns with the Chamber’s mission to support local businesses:

“Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce supports and empowers over 1000 businesses in Edinburgh and the Lothians to grow and achieve success. One of the Chamber’s focuses in our mission to support local businesses is the shop local concept. We typically give our staff a single retailer gift card as a Christmas thank you, but this year we wanted to choose an option that is local. The Edinburgh Gift Card sits with everything we’re trying to do as a Chamber.

“When we looked at all of the places where the Edinburgh Gift Card can be spent, with both national brands and small independents, it ticked all of the boxes. Staff can use their gift card in M&S, Boots, Las Iguanas or another big name brand if they wish but they can also spend it at Chez Roger, Rabble, Oink Hog Roast or any number of other small independent businesses.

“Chamber staff might use their Edinburgh Gift Card to buy their lunch at the deli for the next 12 months, on a treat, or a meal out with family, they can even use it to buy their Christmas groceries. Organisations often look for rewards and incentives that offer choice, and I don’t believe it gets any better than the Edinburgh Gift Card for breadth of choice in the city.

“Choosing the Edinburgh Gift Card for our staff rewards is our way of taking a lead, and making a demonstrable commitment to Edinburgh, and the Chamber businesses that feature on the Edinburgh Gift Card. We’re ensuring the money used to reward our staff stays right here in Edinburgh, where it will continue to circulate and be reinvested back in the area.”

The new Edinburgh Gift Card can be spent with over 140 businesses in the city, including Fabhatrix situated in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket. Owner and milliner Fawns Reid said:

“Fabhatrix has been in Edinburgh for over 20 years now. Our hats are handmade using Scottish Harris Tweed and other quality materials to create unique items, including women’s and men’s hats to suit any occasion from the races to a wedding, a festival to meeting the Queen. One of the benefits of making our own stock is that we can keep our shelves replenished. Of course, there have been far fewer special occasions of late, and less tourists to the city but we’ve been fortunate that we also have good local trade for our regular hats. A good warm winter hat will see you through the Edinburgh winter!

“When our ability to shop in person was taken away, people realised how much they valued it. If you buy online, you’re just buying a nice photo. When you shop in person, particularly for Scottish textiles, you really need to see it in person, to feel the quality, to see the weather protection and the lining. The provenance of an item is more important too, people want to know where their products came from and are ready to invest in an authentic Scottish handmade hat, trilby or fascinator. This interest has helped us to reach a whole new demographic.

“I encourage all employers to think local with their staff rewards. Local businesses in Edinburgh are well stocked, on your doorstep and often have more space and time to help customers. The Edinburgh Gift Card is a very worthy initiative and we’re happy to be a part of the programme as we all work together to keep Edinburgh vibrant.”

The Edinburgh Gift Card is a development of the Edinburgh Gift Card set up by Essential Edinburgh and Miconex in 2018, with additional businesses brought into the scheme. Existing Edinburgh Gift Cards can continue to be spent alongside the new Edinburgh Gift Card.

Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “At a time of year when businesses are wanting to thank their staff with a Christmas gift, giving their employees an Edinburgh Gift Card will not only give the gift of choice to their valued team, but also supports the local economy. The Edinburgh Gift Card keeps spend within the local area and the choice on offer is superb with many city centre businesses accepting it – so dinner, a few drinks or some retail therapy, the choice is theirs!

“The past twenty months have been challenging for most businesses, and with drastically reduced footfall and spend in the city centre, local support is more essential than ever. I would encourage all organisations to not only thank their staff, but also support their city centre, and giving the Edinburgh Gift Card is the perfect option.”

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card rollout gives every region in Scotland the opportunity to launch its own local gift card. In areas where there is no existing Town & City Gift Card scheme in place, Miconex has worked alongside Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the local authority to develop a new local gift card.

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex and said: “With the backing of the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the Edinburgh Gift Card is bigger and better than ever and is a way that organisations can make a tangible investment in Edinburgh. New regional Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are coming on board every day; this unparalleled access to local gift card schemes across Scotland is providing Scottish businesses with a local choice for their 2021 Christmas rewards and incentives.”

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