Mandy Brown from furniture shop Harrison and Brown who has signed up for the scheme with Natalie Dellow of Sunderland BID.
Jane Imrie

Sunderland businesses set for lockdown support with launch of city gift card

Businesses in a North East city have been offered a lifeline through a new initiative to support local firms during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Sunderland has become the first city in the region to launch a gift card in a bid to support local companies throughout the lockdown.

Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID has teamed up with Miconex to launch the scheme, which will include hospitality, retail, experiential and professional services businesses.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, commented: “There’s never been a more important time for people to shop local.

“And the Sunderland Gift Card is a fantastic way to do that, with the added bonus of having a whole host of options where it can be spent.

“We are now hoping that businesses will get behind the scheme and sign up, ahead of its official launch mid November.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council added: “Dozens of cities and towns across the country have similar gift cards and there’s lots of good reasons for Sunderland having one too.

“If you’re gifting and buying with one of these cards then you’re helping keep somebody in work in Sunderland, you’re supporting Sunderland and helping keep money in the city, not just an online business or a company that may have little or no physical presence here.

“I know people feel very strongly about our city centre and this card really does show and demonstrate that you’re supporting and spending in the city of Sunderland. This is a card that’s not just for Christmas.”

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