Both national and independent venues are part of the scheme. “We have a lot of independent businesses in Tavistock, which makes it unique,” said Danni Larcombe, owner of Boutique 32 on Brook Street.
“More people want to shop locally now and support us, and the Tavistock Gift Card is an easy way for them to do that. It will also bring more people to the town who want to use the gift card as an experience, to have some lunch, do a bit of shopping or get their nails done.
It’s a nice family present. “Around 40 per cent of the shop’s income is from Christmas sales, and another 30 per cent from summer sales. We have experienced lockdowns in both of these key periods.
When people shop locally, it is helping businesses in Tavistock to keep going and keep giving our customers the best shopping experience. You don’t get that with Amazon.
“During this second lockdown, I’m lucky to have a website to sell through. The few orders I get each day are enough to get by and pay the bills. It is a stressful time, but even whilst we are closed, people can still support us in buying the Tavistock Gift Card as a present. I’m really grateful that the gift card has been set up.”
The Tavistock Gift Card project is an initiative from Tavistock Business Improvement District (BID) supported by West Devon Borough Council as part of its Town Recovery Fund. Independent school Mount Kelly has also supported the programme.
Tavistock’s new gift card is part of the Town and City Gift Cards programme from Miconex.
Exeter launched its town and city gift card – the In Exeter Gift Card – in 2018 with thousands spent through the programme since then.
Data from the Centre for Cities suggests Exeter is experiencing a moderately strong recovery from
lockdown, while McKinsey data pinpoints the South West as one of the regions of the UK with the greatest percentage of jobs at risk.
Councillor Neil Jory, leader of West Devon Borough Council said: “This is a brilliant initiative on the part of BID and Tavistock retailers which West Devon Borough Council is delighted to support. Let’s all get behind our amazing town centre shops and buy local this Christmas.”
Tavistock hosted the Great Goosey Gander in October, to encourage people offline and into the
town. The event was in place of the Goose Fair which usually attracts people into Tavistock en-masse. A popular Dickensian evening was also cancelled amidst requirements
to avoid mass gatherings.