Cork’s largest business representative group has launched a new gift card to promote more shopping in the region.
Cork Chamber’s Gift Card, which will be operated by the One4all multi-store gift card company, will be accepted by hundreds of retailers and businesses. It can only be used in Cork as part of a specific effort by the Chamber to support local businesses and jobs - especially in the run-up to Christmas.
In development for months, it has been unveiled this week amid renewed concerns about the impact of the St Patrick’s St afternoon car ban on afternoon trade.
FF Cllr Tim Brosnan has criticised the lack of enforcement of the new measure and said he is prepared to call for its suspension unless hard data proves it’s working.
Cork Chamber chief executive, Conor Healy, said the Chamber has spent several months working with One4all on the gift-card initiative: “A strong city centre adds to the dynamism of the region - with retail, hospitality, pharma, IT, financial services all part of the business ecosystem which has massive potential to work together. Our intention with this gift card is to build support for local businesses and we encourage all corporate entities in the region to consider this gift card as a staff reward."
The prepaid card can be loaded with any value from the minimum €15 to the maximum €500 and is tax-free to the recipient. It will be accepted by some 300 outlets in the region, from small independent coffee shops to big brand stores, including Keanes Jewellers, Ballymaloe House Hotel, Fitzgerald Menswear, Skechers, the Rochestown Park Hotel, and The Elm Tree Bar and Restaurant.
There are tax benefits for employers who load a card with the maximum €500, with savings under the Government’s benefit-in-kind or annual once-off small benefits exemption of up to €653.65 per employee.
The Chamber's new card is available directly from PostPoint outlets in Cork and through corkchamber.ie