Pat Morrissey, marketing officer with the credit union, said some of the town’s retailers contacted the financial institution looking for promotional ideas in the run-up to Christmas.
After looking at different promotions, Mr Morrissey said it was decided to launch the Fermoy Shopping Voucher.
“The advantages of this are that an employer can give €250 of vouchers to an employee tax-free. Normally employers give various vouchers from the big stores.
“The problem with those is that the money leaves Fermoy in most cases. Also with one of the vouchers, ONE 4 ALL, there is commission charged,” Mr Morrissey said.
Fermoy Credit Union said no commission would be charged when retailers redeem them at the credit union.
“It will be up to the retailers to market these vouchers by offering discounts to the consumer. For example, a clothes shop might give 10% off if the vouchers are used. Thus the consumer could get the tax benefit and the discount, but this is entirely up to each retail unit,” Mr Morrissey said.
He said more than 40 retailers had signed up but he expects many more shops to join.
The credit union has circulated more than 400 local people with details of the voucher scheme.
“This is about a community promoting the ‘shop local’ principle and trying to keep the money generated in Fermoy in Fermoy,” Mr Morrissey said.
“By spending locally we are helping to keep jobs locally and hopefully even helping to create new jobs.”