Today is the day that details of the long awaited High Street Voucher Scheme will be announced, including the start and end dates that it will run. The scheme will mean that everyone in Northern Ireland who are 18 or over will be eligible to apply to receive a £100 pre-paid card that will be able to be spent on the high streets up and down the country.
Important Everyone Applies For The Vouchers
It is important that everyone who is eligible applies and gets these in their hands, as it will give a massive boost to all the fantastic small, independent businesses on our high streets. People will be able to apply for the vouchers on the NI Direct website but it is believed there will also be a phone line available for those who, for any reason, are struggling to apply online. It will also be possible for a limited number of people to get someone else to apply for them, no doubt details of this will also be released today.
A Lot Of Excitement Out There
Northern Ireland`s economy minister Gordon Lyons, speaking to BBC News, said that:
“I know there’s a lot of excitement out there, people are looking forward to spending their cards,
“I’m looking forward to them getting out there as well so we can give that real boost to our economy in the short term and also, hopefully, change behaviours and bring people back into the high street in the long term as well.”
“In the meantime, I would encourage people to think about how they can spend their prepaid cards in order to help boost the local economy and help those businesses that have struggled for so long,”
Should They Be Automatically Issued To Pensioners
There have been calls for pensioners, who are less likely to be internet savvy and less likely to be able to access an online portal, to get the high street vouchers automatically issued to them, rather than have to apply for them through this official website, but this doesn`t look like happening. So it is very important for anyone who has elderly relatives or friends to check on them and ensure that they apply for the vouchers, the more people receive them the better for all concerned.
The vouchers will not be able to be spent at online stores, but must be used at independent high street shops, which is a great idea as it will get people back down on to the high street once more, and give a great boost to lots of local economies across Northern Ireland.