Salisbury BID is encouraging employers in the area to consider rewarding staff with the Salisbury Gift Card for Christmas this year, keeping money local and supporting local economic recovery.

A survey published in HR Review found that less than one fifth of UK companies are still planning an office Christmas party for 2020. Ongoing restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic mean that many employers are looking for new ways to reward their staff.

The Salisbury Gift Card can be spent in a choice of over 130 businesses in Salisbury city centre, including independent and national traders.

Recipients of the Salisbury Gift Card can use the card like local currency, in one transaction or many, and on retail, hospitality, services and leisure. A full list of where the Salisbury Gift Card can be spent can be found here.

Each Salisbury Gift Card is a prepaid Mastercard which is valid for 12 months from purchase, offering employers a secure way to gift. Cards can be purchased online and delivered straight to the recipient.

Employers are able to make bulk orders of the Salisbury Gift Card by directly contacting Salisbury BID, the operators of the scheme.

Employers in the area who reward staff with the Salisbury Gift Card can take advantage of the UK trivial benefits scheme. A business can give an employee a benefit of up to £50 without paying tax, but only if the benefit isn’t in cash.

Robin McGowan, Chief Executive of Salisbury BID, said that the Salisbury Gift Card is a socially conscious choice for employers wanting to support Salisbury whilst giving their staff a reward they will appreciate: “There are approximately 40,000 people living in the city of Salisbury. If everyone in the city buys and gifts a £10 Salisbury Gift Card, that’s £400,000 we are locking into Salisbury city centre businesses, which would have a hugely beneficial impact on the city’s businesses and their recovery.

“With the tax benefits for employers and the vast array of spending options for the recipient, giving a Salisbury Gift Card is the ideal solution for employers looking to reward their staff at the end of what’s been an extremely challenging year.”

The Salisbury Gift Card is part of the Town and City Gift Cards programme from Scottish fintech Miconex. In November 2020, over 50 towns, cities and regions in the UK have Town and City Gift Card programmes with new schemes springing up around the UK and Ireland in response to the shop local movement. Town and City Gift Cards received the award for the best use of prepaid at the Incentive Awards in 2020.

The Gift Card and Voucher Association valued the UK gift card market at £7bn in 2019, also reporting that 98.6% of gift cards are spent within a year of being received and 65% will be spent on top of the value of the card received. The Incentive Research Foundation research placed gift card programmes at the top of incentive wish lists for employees.