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Northern Ireland High Street Voucher Scheme: Local businesses you can support

It’s not long now until we’ll be able to sign up online for our High Street Voucher, available through the Department for the Economy’s new High Street Stimulus scheme.
The voucher will be on offer to everyone in Northern Ireland over the age of 18 and…

It's not long now until we'll be able to sign up online for our High Street Voucher, available through the Department for the Economy's new High Street Stimulus scheme. The voucher will be on offer to everyone in Northern Ireland over the age of 18 and can be used in any bricks and mortar business, with the aim of stimulating in-person shopping. It is likely the vouchers will be up for grabs in autumn and what's even better - they won't just be limited to retail.

You can spend your voucher in almost any business that takes cards or contactless payments, the Department for the Economy has said. So, restaurants and cafes are on the table too when it comes to spending your pre-paid voucher. With GBP100 to splash, we've found some of the best independent retailers to support.

In what has been a tough year for local businesses, they need it. 1. No Alibis

The quaint book shop on Botanic Avenue is the perfect spot for picking up new reads. By supporting the store, you could also be supporting some Northern Irish authors. No Alibis stocks lots of books by local authors, and it's a great alternative to online sites like Amazon.

2. Maggie Mays If you're on Botanic Avenue already, you might as well pop into this cafe for lunch or dinner too.

Maggie Mays has plenty of options on its menu, including kids' meals and a vegan and vegetarian selection. The restaurant also has other locations: one on Malone Road and another in the city centre, on Castle Street. 3.

Born and Bred In this art studio and gift shop on Ann Street, you'll be able to get your hands on extra-special finds for yourself, or a pal. Central to the business's ethos is to help local artists thrive, and by spending your voucher here you'll be doing just that.

Some of the gifts on offer include Belfast-themed prints, accessories and homeware. 4. St George's Market

Chock full of independent retailers, St George's Market in Belfast is guaranteed to have something special you can find to take home. Since the voucher only requires a card machine, any retailer in the market will be able to accept your voucher as long as they take card or contactless payments. 5.

The Strand Arts Centre cinema Grab some popcorn and make your way to the independent cinema located in the east of the city. The Arts Centre plays plenty of films, ranging from independent, locally made film to Hollywood blockbusters.

There are plenty of other local businesses nearby on the Holywood Road to support whilst you're there too. 6. Memento floral design

If you're hooked on the house plant craze, local florist shop Memento will be right up your street. Located on Ormeau Road, the store offers aesthetically pleasing flower posies, bonsai trees and an extensive number of indoor and outdoor plants for all seasons. 7.

Dragon records Belfast

(C) Dragon Records/Facebook Dragon Records

On Wellington Place is Dragon Records, a local record shop which stocks an eclectic range of music suited to all tastes. With a vinyl revival well underway, why not head on down with your voucher to pick up your favourite albums - old and new. 8.

Bread and Banjo This bakery on the Ormeau Road offers some of the best freshly baked bread in Belfast. There are a whole range of items to feast on, and it's not limited to bread either.

Pastries, scones and cakes are also available.

You can pre-order for collection too - including challah bread on Fridays.

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