Staff Christmas rewards: Local gift card benefits highlighted to Scottish HR teams

HR professionals in Scotland are being urged to embrace the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card as a staff reward this Christmas as polling shows huge support from employees to receive incentives which also support other businesses in their community,

Almost 70% of Scots say they would like to see their employers choose local when rewarding staff with gift cards – including at Christmas, new research has found.

This is a factor which HR professionals and business managers are being urged to consider as they finalise decisions on rewards for colleagues this festive season.

Polling commissioned by Scotland Loves Local – the campaign urging Scots to think local first and back businesses in their community – highlighted the potential for a shift from national or online-only gift cards to drive millions of pounds more directly into regional economies.

Opting for local gift cards is a means by which employers can reward staff as well as other local businesses.

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card can only be spent in the local authority region for which it is branded, meaning that spending is locked into the area’s economy, creating stronger and more sustainable communities by keeping money local for longer.

And there is still time for corporate orders to be made in time for this year’s seasonal celebrations.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the organisation which champions the nation’s towns and places, is the organisation behind Scotland Loves Local.

A poll it commissioned of almost 1,400 adults, carried out by the Diffley Partnership, found that:

  • Almost seven-in-10 (68%) agreed that when using gift cards to reward and incentivise staff, employers should use local gift card schemes to support local town centres and small businesses rather than national alternatives.
  • Two-thirds (66%) agreed that offering a local gift card scheme is an effective way for employers to incentivise and reward their staff.
  • Three-quarters (78%) agreed that employers should do more to support local businesses in their area.

Kimberley Guthrie, STP’s interim chief officer, said: “It’s fantastic to see the local pride and will from people working across Scotland to be rewarded in a way which allows them to directly support the people and businesses around them.

“When local employers support each other, it makes a tremendous difference. Greater use of local gift cards has the power to channel millions of pounds more of spending directly into local economies – a potential game-changer for many businesses.

“Keeping money local for longer is at the heart of this. It’s often said that every pound spent locally flips six times in the area’s economy, so the knock-on effect is significant.

“Thinking local first protects jobs, is better for the environment and helps make our communities more vibrant places in which to live. For employers, there are few more powerful forms of corporate social responsibility than helping support the future of other local businesses. Local gift cards allow them to do precisely that.”

Sales of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card have already topped £640,000 so far this year – with half of sales coming from corporate organisations using the cards for staff, client and volunteer rewards, incentive and support.

Perth-based fintech Miconex delivers the gift card initiative for STP.

Working throughout the UK, Ireland and North America, its team has seen the difference that can be made in communities when employers of all sizes – from large factories and public sector organisations to family enterprises – embrace local gift cards.

Colin Munro, Miconex’s Managing Director, said: “Organisations are increasingly making the move to local gift cards to reward staff, customers and service users because they offer choice for the recipient blended with support for local. Firms want to offer a reward or incentive that reflects the diversity of their people, that can be used by the recipient easily and in a way that suits their individual needs.

“As reflected in the polling, there is increasing awareness and understanding of the role that organisations play in the success of their community. Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards offer a tangible means for organisations to give staff a useful reward or incentive and support local communities at the same time.”

Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards are available for every local authority region in Scotland. More than 7,000 businesses across the country are registered to accept them.

While born out of the need for people to get behind businesses in their community following the first coronavirus lockdown, the wider Scotland Loves Local campaign has grown into a long-term initiative for people to lay the foundations for stronger, more sustainable communities of the future by thinking local first and supporting local enterprises of all kinds.

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is an enabling element of that drive – giving people another means by which they can support local shops, services and attractions.

Find out more and place your Scotland Loves Local Gift Card order by clicking here.

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