DAYMADE launches the partnership with Town & City to make it even easier to support your favourite local business
by Abbi James
This month, DAYMADE and Town & City Gift Cards have joined forces to further support independent businesses. This partnership will enable DAYMADE players across the UK to support their local business of choice, from farmers markets to bougee boutiques.
This last year has taught us all just how much we appreciate our local independent businesses - where would our community be without them! DAYMADE players have really turned UP for small business owners, by using their prize of choice to support their locals. We’d love to further this support, and so DAYMADE have decided to partner up with Town & City Gift Cards - a match made in heaven!
You might be asking yourself: what IS a Town and City Gift Card? Well, this award-winning programme consists of local gift cards that can be used with a range of businesses in a particular area, from shops, bars and restaurants to theatres, salons and leisure venues. This isn’t just for major cities either, with over 60 different programmes operating in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.
If you live in or visit one of these places, you’re in luck – there’s a Town and City Gift Card for you: Aberdeen, Bury St Edmunds, Camberley, Canterbury, Chester, City of London, Chichester, Eastleigh, East Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gloucester, Harrogate, Isle of Wight, Kirkcaldy, Knowsley, Minehead, Middlesbrough, Newport, Perth, Preston, REDS (Rural Scotland Gift Card), Salisbury, Scarborough, Southport, Sunderland and Tavistock.
We’ve all felt the added pressures from varying lockdowns over the last 18 months, but it’s been especially difficult for independent businesses. Our new partnership has been designed to tap into the desire from younger consumers to support businesses through local gift cards and prioritise experiences. GCVA data found that it was younger consumers who were most motivated to support local businesses, with 25.5% of 25-44’s seeing gift cards as a mutually beneficial way to show that support for retailers and other venues where they live.
One of our recent DAYMADE winners, Jamie Sparks, 26, chose the Exeter Town & City gift card as his £25 prize, hoping to make his next trip into Exeter all the more special:
“I think it’s a really good prize, as it covers not just shopping but eating out too. And I think it helps the smaller chains and the independent shops that are local, helping reduce footprint. I discovered new, smaller, independent shops when looking through where I could use the gift card. I’m looking forward to using the card, it’s like a bonus and will make the next trip into the city more of a treat."
We’ve loved hearing from small business owners how your support made a difference.
Janet Thompson is the founder of Grown Up Marshmallows, a local artisan producer of gourmet marshmallows, and 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. 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.”
There’s a huge array of businesses that accept Town and City Gift Cards, from artisan product designers, to cafes and restaurants serving up local produce. Another Minehead-based business set to benefit from the new partnership is the Alcombe Fish Bar.
Jill Foster, from the Alcombe Fish Bar:
“I think the Minehead Gift Card is a great idea. I had someone ring me from Nottingham wanting to buy a voucher as a gift for family that live locally. 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.”
Local gift card schemes like the Minehead Gift Card are helping business owners to adjust and adapt following the pandemic. Yet another local business where the Minehead Gift Card can be spent is The Lighting Company, an established lighting and homeware business with a flagship store in Minehead.
Glenn Ross is from The Lighting Company:
“As for all businesses, managing the uncertainty of lockdown has been a challenge. In this third lockdown, we’ve taken it as an opportunity to completely refresh our Minehead store, develop new ranges, work on photography and upskill staff - the majority of whom have been working throughou
“We employ over 20 people locally, and are passionate about supporting Minehead. 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. Money spent locally stays local and that benefits everyone.
“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.
“Whilst online is a really important channel for us, a presence on the high street is vital. Customers want to look, feel and touch the products, guided by an experienced member of staff.”
Glen really hit the nail on the head – local stores are able to offer something that nationwide conglomerates just aren’t able to, from a personalised customer service, to an innate passion for local produce.
Scarborough joined the Town and City Gift Card programme in November 2020, and now has a whopping 79 retailers that accept the Scarborough Town and City Gift Cards. This historic and vibrant town has a great selection of retailers to choose from, including Toyland Toyshop, Nomination, Cosmetique, Bike and Boot Hotel and Restaurant, Bay Tree Interiors, Geko Glass and Lilly’s Treasures. Karon Wallis, owner of Lilly’s Treasures said the Scarborough Gift Card is a way to show your support for local businesses:
“The Scarborough Gift Card is absolutely the way forward. This year has shown just how important our communities are and our local shops. People know they can come into Lilly’s Treasures and get something unique. But more than that, it’s the personal connection. I know all of my customers by name, I try to show customers that I care, taking the time to talk which is good for our mental health and wellbeing. You don’t get that when you shop online.
“When people buy with me, that money that goes back into the community. I have my crafters, I buy from the local butcher and use independent shops where I can. There are so many people that support a small business. We are all in this together. When you buy the Scarborough Gift Card as a gift, you are showing your support for your businesses and your town.
“When lockdown happened, I’d just moved to the new shop but I took the time to build my community who have been so supportive. People say you have to go online to get unique items. We’re proving that it is on the high street, in Scarborough.”
Gloucester, the Cathedral city of the Cotswolds, has over 2,000 years of history to immerse yourself in. They launched the Gloucester Gift Card a year prior, in November 2019, and have 37 local retailers signed up to the programme including the Museum of Gloucester and Café René. An experience-based business for you to spend your Gloucester Gift Card at is VRXPerience. Founder Marc Edden said the Gloucester Gift Card is a way to enjoy a whole day out in Gloucester:
“We set up the business in November 2019, less than 4 months later Covid-19 hit. We have virtual reality headsets, escape rooms and racing. I found out about the Gloucester Gift Card on Facebook and signed up. I need to take every opportunity I can to advertise VRXPerience to new customers and reach people that we wouldn’t normally reach. Being a part of the Gloucester Gift Card exposes us to a new market outside of our regular customers.
“In the same way, I hope that being a part of the programme will help our customers to discover new businesses too. With the Gloucester Gift Card, you can enjoy a whole day out, do some shopping in Gloucester, have something to eat, have a go at VR and much more. I set up the business myself from scratch, it has been a real labour of love. When people shop local and buy the Gloucester Gift Card, it will make such a difference to small businesses like mine. It’s make or break for us right now.”
DAYMADE is all about the value of experiences over money, with experience gift cards being especially popular right now. GCVA found that 30.1% of Generation Z shoppers (16-24) have purchased an experience gift card in January 2021, and a massive 82.6% have purchased a gift card over the past three years. If you’re one of these people who chose to use their prize to support a local business, thank you, thank you, thank you!
The benefit of these cards goes beyond money going to local businesses, as the scheme also provides local businesses with a network to help support one another in a community like never before. This can be especially important when businesses are in more rural areas, such as those in Perthshire, Scotland. The REDS Rural Gift Card can be spent with more than 120 rural businesses across Scotland, including a number of experiential businesses such as Progression Bikes in Dunkeld, Perthshire. Adam Flint from Progression Bikes said the REDS Rural Gift Card will help them to attract new customers as a community:
“Being involved with our local business community firstly helps us as businesses to know more about what else is on offer in our area and secondly it helps members of the public to come and take advantage of what we’ve got here relatively easily. The REDS Rural Gift Card means we can get day trippers out from Glasgow or Edinburgh and they can come to places like this, hire an ebike and explore the varied trails right from our shop door. So people who don’t know the area well can come here and they can hire a bike in the morning, have lunch in one of the town’s lovely cafés and then they can go canyoning or stand up paddle boarding in the afternoon and we can organise the whole lot for them through our network of businesses.”
The community spirit and importance of having a strong, supportive network was echoed by many independent businesses involved with the Town and City Gift Card programme.
Jess Simms-Baalham from Javelin Retail in Bury St Edmunds:
“The gift card has been a success in-store thus far with a lot of customers eager to shop in a family run, local business after months of lockdown. As lockdown drove all non-essential retail online it seemed to signal the death of the high street. Instead the opposite is happening now! It seems shoppers are keen to get back to their local indies and support real-life people. Spending the gift card with us keeps the community spirit alive!”
Now the question remains: how do you win a Town and City Gift Card to spend in your local businesses? If you match 3 main numbers in our Weekly Draw, you’ll bag yourself a £25 gift card for your chosen town or city. If you’re killin’ it and match 3 main numbers plus the bonus ball, you’ll walk away with a £100 Town and City Gift Card.
We’re so excited to support local businesses up and down the country, so all you have to do to take part is click below and enter for your chance to win big and support local!