Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced a number of important dates in the roll out of the High Street Scheme (HSS).
On a visit to Belfast the Minister announced that the online portal which will enable anyone aged 18 or over to apply for the £100 Spend Local pre-paid cards will be open from September 27 until October 25. He also announced a number of other key dates.
October 5 – First tranche of cards will issue to those who have successfully applied for the Spend Local pre-paid card.
October 11 – Telephone service will open to support applications from people not able to access or use the online portal.
October 25 – High Street Scheme online portal and telephone services will close.
November 30 – High Street Scheme closes and the Spend Local pre-paid cards will cease to be valid.
The Minister said, “now is the time to get ready to Spend Local. I am delighted to announce that the online portal will open to receive applications in just under two weeks with the first tranche of Spend Local pre-paid cards to issue the week beginning October 4.
“The objective of the £145million High Street Scheme is to boost local businesses following the drop in footfall brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. By giving everyone aged 18 and over in Northern Ireland a pre-paid card worth £100 to spend in local high street businesses, we will encourage many more customers back through the doors of local retail, hospitality and services.
“I would encourage everyone who is over 18 by October 25, to apply for their card between September 27 and October 25. We expect demand to be high so please be patient if the online portal is busy just after it opens. It is important to remember that everyone will have at least four weeks to spend their card.
“By applying, receiving and ultimately spending your Spend Local card in local businesses such as shops, hospitality and other services before November 30, you will be doing your bit to support your local businesses.”