ONE Somerset town has launched its very own gift card.
The Minehead Gift Card is the same as a regular gift card but can be spent at businesses across the whole of Minehead.
The card was given the green light last month, and is now available for customers to buy.
READ MORE: Minehead Gift Card gets go-ahead
Glenn Ross, who works at The Lighting Company (one of the places where customer can spend the card) said keeping “money local” can only be a “good thing”.
“We employ over 20 people locally, and are passionate about supporting Minehead,” he said.
“The Minehead Gift Card will keep money local, and that can only be a good thing.
“Because it can be spent with lots of different businesses in the area, there is that security too.
“There has been an uptick in interest for British made products and after the first lockdown, that support from locals was fantastic.
“People are shopping here in Minehead rather than driving to other towns and cities.”
Janet Thompson, founder of Grown Up Marshmallows, opened a shop on The Avenue in Minehead a week before the first lockdown.
“Our product is created in small batches on Exmoor National Park, using fruit we’ve grown ourselves, and packaged with 100% recyclable, biodegradable, compostable material,” she added.
“Creating a local product was important to us. With the lockdown, we had to adapt our business, supplying hamper companies, refining our product and creating items like the toasting kit, and actually last year was our best year yet.
“All of our boxes of marshmallow have the Exmoor flag, so they’re ideal for tourists but we’re really lucky to have experienced that local support too. Without locals, we don’t have a business.
“We hope that people will buy the Minehead Gift Card to show their support for our town.”
The Minehead Gift Card became a reality following a £100,000 grant from Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) through the Emergency Town Centre Recovery Fund.
It was led by a steering group set up by Minehead Business Improvement District (BID).
The funding has meant that the scheme has been opened up to businesses from right across Minehead, including the Alcombe Fish Bar.
Jill Foster, from Alcombe Fish Bar, thinks the gift card is a “great idea”.
“I had someone ring me from Taunton wanting to buy a voucher as a gift for family that live locally,” she said.
“The Minehead Gift Card is an easy way for someone to give a nice gift.
“Locals might also buy it for themselves, so they can treat themselves to a takeaway.
“People are starting to put local as their first choice, and realising that they can get what they want locally, often cheaper too.
“The Minehead Gift Card is going to be especially important for us to support those businesses that have been closed during lockdown, it will be really beneficial for our area.”
The new Minehead Gift Card is part of the Town and City Gift Cards programme from fintech Miconex.
Colin Munro, from Miconex, said: “We all want to support local businesses after this latest lockdown and shopping locally is a simple way to do that.
“More than 86 per cent of Generation Z shoppers have purchased a gift card and 81 per cent of people are supporting local businesses more than before the pandemic.
“With the Minehead Gift Card, people can get out and experience Minehead, visit new businesses they’ve never been into and keep money locked into the area.”