Bristol launches scheme to drive spending in shops, restaurants and hotels post-pandemic

Bristol’s three business improvement districts (BIDs) have launched a new initiative to drive recovery in the city following the pandemic.

The gift card scheme is being coordinated by Bristol City Centre BID, Redcliffe and Temple BID, and Broadmead BID, which are hoping to boost spending with local businesses, including shops, restaurants and hotels.

Retail, hospitality, leisure, health and beauty, accommodation and services providers can register to accept the Love Bristol Gift Card as an additional payment method, and no extra equipment is required.

Any business that accepts Mastercard within the BID boundaries can join – even if they are not BID levy payers.

Steve Bluff, head of Redcliffe and Temple BID, said: “As we come out of the pandemic, the gift card is an opportunity for our businesses to get behind a programme that will keep spend local and further enhance recovery efforts across the city.”

The Love Bristol Gift Card will feature illustrations depicting iconic Bristol landmarks, including Bristol Shopping Quarter and Park Street.

“There is also a huge opportunity to use the Love Bristol Gift Card to drive tourism, and for different demographics, such as our student population,” added Mr Bluff.

The Love Bristol Gift Card is available to buy online, in physical or digital format. It is part of the Town and City Gift Card programme from fintech Miconex, with similar programmes running in a number of the UK’s biggest cities, including Aberdeen, Belfast and York.

Beth Betts, marketing manager for the three BIDs, added: “Our placemaking initiatives aim to contribute towards a vibrant and successful city. There is strong evidence of the economic benefit of local gift card programmes that we can emulate with our Love Bristol Gift Card, providing tangible support for city centre businesses and generating significant spend.”

To help the BIDs launch the gift card, the team have collaborated with the University of the West of England’s (UWE) summer Undergraduate Internship Scheme to recruit a final-year student to support with marketing and businesses engagement.

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