Dundalk Chamber was delighted recently to honour Shop Local Gift Vouchers that were over 7 years old. The Shop Local Gift Vouchers were launched in 2015 to keep money local. The voucher scheme was originally proposed by local business man and former Chamber President Paddy Matthews.
The vouchers have been a success with over €7 million sold since their launch in 2015.
The Chamber objective was and is to keep money local and has stood by its commitment that the Chamber will redeem all vouchers, no matter how long they’ve been sitting in the drawer at home.
Chamber President Una McGoey said that the Shop Local Gift Vouchers have no expiry date and the aim of the vouchers it to keep money local thereby supporting local businesses. There is also no commission charged on the vouchers and the Chamber administers the scheme form its own resources.
Commenting on the announcement that there are now over 330 local shops and businesses redeeming “Shop Local Gift Vouchers”, Una is calling on members of the public and the business community to get behind the vouchers and use them all year round for weddings, birthdays, special occasions, staff bonuses and Christmas Bonuses.
PRO of Dundalk Chamber Paddy Malone said every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €30 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment. The retail sector employs more people than any other sector in the Irish economy. Retailers and suppliers are currently under significant pressure and its now more important than ever to shop local. Local shops are also a crucial support to local services such as accountants, insurance brokers and suppliers.
Employers can save up to 56% on staff costs by giving employees a Shop Local Gift Voucher instead of a bonus payment in their wages. Paddy also pointed out that “Businesses can reward their staff with a €1000 tax free payment. Under the Scheme, Directors and Employees can receive a non-cash bonus of up to €1000 in value on a completely tax-free basis each year and he would encourage all employers to buy this voucher for the town”. The exemption scheme was originally set at a maximum of €500 but was increased to €1000 in last Autumns budget directly because of the efforts and input of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.