It can be redeemed with more than 100 businesses in the region and spent in one transaction – or many – on leisure, retail and hospitality.
Funded by the Scottish Resilience Fund, each card is a prepaid Mastercard which can be bought online with the option to add a message and deliver direct to the recipient for those purchased as presents.
Falkirk district is the latest Scottish area to launch a Town and City Gift Cards programme via Scottish fintech Miconex.
Falkirk Council and Falkirk Delivers received funding to develop the programme from the Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund.
The £1 million project was funded by the Scottish Government and facilitated by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
Elaine Grant, Falkirk Delivers manager, said: “Initially, we were going to have a gift card purely for Falkirk.
“COVID delayed the introduction of the card, but that has also meant we have been able to include our district towns.
“Shopping locally is incredibly important for the recovery of our towns, alongside making it as safe as it can be.
“That has been the basis of the messaging for our welcome back campaign, with campaign marshals on patrol, barriers to enable safe queuing and stay safe, shop local messaging.
“The loyalty we’re seeing for our businesses across our district is stronger than ever. When we surveyed residents, 83 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that shopping locally was important to them.
“The introduction of the District Towns Gift Card is an easy way for people to support their town, especially as we approach the Christmas period.”
Lisa Fowler, who owns Scarlet Ribbons in Falkirk, used social media to provide a bespoke gifting service for her customers during lockdown.
She said: “Customers really appreciated my lockdown gifting service and the raffles and bonus balls, one customer even gave me a bouquet of flowers to thank me but really I was doing what I had to do to survive.
“I took most of my stock home and adapted as best I could. My house became a picking, packing and wrapping station.
“I didn’t have a website before lockdown but I’m setting all that up now, preparing for the worst I guess. I didn’t cancel any of my Christmas stock because I didn’t want to let any of my suppliers down, so I’ve got a huge amount invested in Christmas.
“What I’ve noticed is that people are shopping early and they’re shopping local, which as a business owner, I’m so grateful for.
“The new District Towns Gift Card is a brilliant way that people can support local businesses.
“It works in other places and it can work just as well here. We need to embrace the changes and think outside the box if we want our businesses to stay open.”
Colin Munro, Miconex managing director, said: “After a difficult 2020, businesses in Falkirk, Denny, Stenhousemuir, Grangemouth and Bo'ness are counting on a good Christmas and by purchasing the District Towns Gift Card, you’re showing your support for them and your town.”