Minehead gift card seeks to boost local economy

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Jill Foster with husband Paul from the Alcombe Fish BarImage source, Minehead BID
Image caption,
Up to 30 shops and services have signed up to the Minehead Gift Card scheme

A gift card that can only be spent in one town in Somerset has been launched in a bid to support local businesses.

A total of 30 shops and services have signed up to the Minehead Gift Card scheme.

Set up by Minehead Business Improvement District (BID), gift cards can be bought for £5 up to £500 and spent at a variety of businesses in the town.

Andrew Hopkins, from the BID, said: "Our hope is that this will contribute to a bumper summer."

The £20,000 scheme, one of 60 running across the UK, is being funded by a grant from the Emergency Town Centre Recovery Fund.

It is hoped it will encourage local people to spend their money in the town once shops reopen on 12 April.

Image source, Minehead BID
Image caption,
Local trader Janet Thompson said she hoped people would support the town as "without locals, we don't have a business"

Mr Hopkins said: "It's really heartening to see lots of business owners are in, getting their businesses ready for the reopening. So there's a real anticipation and hopefully excitement for the summer ahead.

"It looks likely at the moment that staycations are going to be the thing so we're really looking forward to it."

Local trader Janet Thompson said she hoped people would support the town as "without locals, we don't have a business".

Shop owner Glen Ross said keeping money local could "only be a good thing".

While restaurant owner Jill Foster said the scheme would be "especially important" for businesses that have been closed during lockdown.

It will run for three years and aims to get 80 businesses signed up.

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