A new loyalty card scheme is being piloted in Port Talbot to aid its high street over the summer holidays. The scheme, which is being organised by Viva Port Talbot, aims to reward those who spend money in the participating businesses throughout the town centre during this period. The Love Port Talbot loyalty card, initially on trial, begins fully on July 19 and runs until September 1.
Read more : Face masks are scrapped in Welsh schools In order to get the free GBP20 voucher, shoppers will firstly need to spend GBP10 or more at one of the so far 30+ confirmed participating businesses. Between July 19 and September 1, shoppers will need to collect five stickers from five different businesses in order to receive their GBP20 gift voucher from Port Talbot Library.
This voucher can then be spent in any of the participating businesses in a one-off transaction before November 1. "The response to the scheme so far has been really positive. Since we put the video out a few days ago we have had a few more businesses sign up already," said Roger Williams, chair of Viva Port Talbot BID.
"The scheme wants to help people get back to the town centre in Port Talbot as they've obviously had a very difficult year with all the different lockdowns and restrictions. People might be cautious to go back to physical shops but this will help encourage people to go back in and show people that these shops are safe to go into. Local businesses have welcomed the news.
"We are pleased to see Viva being innovative and rewarding customers for keeping it local," said Nigel, from San Portablo, an independent clothing retailer in Aberavon Shopping Centre. "Viva Port Talbot is being dynamic and highlights what we have on offer and we believe we have a healthy take up on the scheme," he added. The owner of 2 Sons Bar & Kitchen, Chris Parsons, also embraced the news.
"We are delighted to be a part of the scheme and it's great that Viva Port Talbot are trying to do something to help businesses in this difficult time. I think they realise that businesses are struggling to get back to normal with the footfall way below average for a town centre so hopefully things like this can give us all a very much needed boost," he added. Find out about things going on where you live:
David Rees MS also welcomed the efforts of local businesses to encourage more people to shop local. "The pandemic has shown to many people that our local shops are crucial to keeping our retail offer in Port Talbot alive and we need to continue supporting businesses in our town," he said. Meanwhile, the president of Viva Port Talbot, Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock, said business owners in the town had "faced huge hurdles since the Covid-19 pandemic began."
"I am proud to say it is a fantastic and innovative organisation working hard to promote and support independent businesses in Port Talbot town centre. VIVA Port Talbot's loyalty card scheme will be a great way to reward people for shopping local and supporting our vibrant community of independent traders," he added. A similar loyalty card scheme from Viva has been ongoing in Llanelli town centre and this has now been extended until August 1.
"We were only going to run it for a month but in the last week of June we had quite an influx of people exchanging their cards so we thought we would extend it to give them more time to fill out their stickers and more time to collect things," said Mr Williams of the Port Talbot scheme. "Everyone is really excited to use their cards. In one cafe, someone spent around GBP9.40 and they wanted a sticker, so they ordered two extra hash browns so they could get it.
This then supports the business which is exactly what we wanted it to do."
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