In a bid to get people shopping on the high streets of Northern Ireland once more the Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced a £140 million high street stimulus scheme. This will entail every adult in Northern Ireland receiving a £100 voucher to spend on the high street, this voucher is likely to be sent out around the end of the summer months.
Anyone 18 Or Over Can Apply For Vouchers
Anyone aged 18 or over will be able to apply for the vouchers which must be spent in bricks and mortar shops, in other words not online, and not in betting shops.
Talking about the scheme in the Belfast Telegraph and the joy of non essential shops opening their doors once more to the public, Minister Dodds said: “This is a day for looking forward. I am excited to see shoppers back on high streets, customers again enjoying outdoor hospitality and the return of holidaymakers to self-contained accommodation.
“I am optimistic because reopening of our economy is the most important first step towards economic recovery.
“However, our high street stimulus scheme will provide a timely boost to this recovery.
“It will provide eligible applicants with a pre-paid card worth £100. This means up to 1.4 million people will spend an extra £140million on our high streets rather than online.
“This has a multiplier effect which will help bring many more customers back through the doors of local retail, hospitality and other sectors.
“We expect there will be pent-up demand following the easing of restrictions. Therefore, we believe the end of the summer is the appropriate time to deliver this spending boost,”
Finally Light At The End Of The Tunnel
In the same article Aodhan Connolly, head of the NI Retail Consortium, said: “There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for retailers large and small. Retailers have have spent weeks preparing shops for reopening and countless hours training staff on the latest safety measures.
“The lockdowns have cost retailers approximately £1billion in lost sales in the past year, and it is vital that they can make their contribution to Northern Ireland’s economic recovery.”
A bustling and booming high street is good for both the local economy and the general public, so this is certainly a step in the right direction. We can only hope that the only way is up from here on in and we can all look forward to a better future after the pain of the last 12 months or so.