Applications for Northern Ireland's Spend Local cards are now closed. Any NI resident over the age of 18 was able to apply for the GBP100 voucher, which was provided as an incentive to spend locally and give businesses a post-lockdown boost. Applications closed for the scheme at midnight on Monday, October 25.
And there have been over 1.43 million applications, the Department for the Economy revealed this week. But as of Wednesday, October 27, cards have only been issued to just over 667,000 people. This is as the Department works its way through the large number of applications.
The Department said applicants should receive their Spend Local card within 7-10 days of making their application. It will take up to five weeks for all the cards to be delivered, the Department said, giving everyone a minimum of four weeks to spend the GBP100. A statement on the NI Direct website said cards will continue to be issued to successful applicants over the coming weeks.
Over 1.2million out of 1.4million applications have been verified and applications will be processed "as quickly as possible," it said. The Department is also continuing to issue emails to applicants whose details could not be automatically verified. The email you should receive from [email protected] is legitimate and not a scam.
It may arrive in your junk folder, and if this has happened, you should move the email into your inbox folder before you access the link to upload your documents. The email will ask you to upload further information to verify your identity. One piece of information is needed to confirm that you are a resident in Northern Ireland and another to confirm your date of birth.
A list of acceptable documents is contained within the email. Follow the instructions in the email carefully. You must use the link in the email to upload your information.
All cards will expire on Tuesday, November 30. You will not be able to use the card after this date. If you have general queries relating to the scheme, including questions about when you will receive your card, you can email [email protected] or call 0800 0468 333.
For more infromation, head to the NI Direct website.