30 Sep 2021

Completed applications for Spend Local card passes 400,000

After much anticipation, the Department for the Economy’s High Street Scheme opened to applications on Monday.

And, not surprisingly, demand for the £100 pre-paid Spend Local card has been extremely high with over 400,000 application requests made on the first day alone.

The application portal is open until 25 October so there is plenty of time for all those eligible to apply, receive and use their Spend Local card. The first tranche of cards will issue to eligible applicants in the week commencing 4 October.

The High Street Scheme is part of a range of measures developed to stimulate economic recovery. The Spend Local card will give a financial boost to local businesses across Northern Ireland adversely affected by a drop in footfall due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Applicants can apply for the Spend Local card through the portal on NI Direct - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/spend-local

When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify it through a computer-operated phone system or text message and make the first payment using a pin, before starting to use it for contactless payments.

The High Street Scheme Spend Local pre-paid card will be accepted by shops and businesses which accept credit and debit cards for payment. It cannot be used to purchase goods or services online or for gambling or some financial and legal services.

If you are a retailer that would like to get involved there are a range of assets available to download from Tourism NI's Content Pool.