‘Athlone Gift Card’ initiative to encourage local shopping

An 'Athlone Gift Card' which can only be used at businesses in the town is due to be launched by the Chamber of Commerce in late April.

Alan Shaw, the President of Athlone Chamber, said the initiative would be an important way of promoting local businesses and encouraging people to shop within the town.

The card is to be established in conjunction with Irish gift card company Me2You, and it will be available for use in shops, hotels, restaurants and other businesses locally.

Athlone Chamber said 40 businesses accept the Me2You card, and these will automatically be able to accept the Athlone Gift Card. It's inviting businesses that are not currently included among the Me2You retailers to get in touch.

Mr Shaw noted that "many companies, particularly larger corporates, incentivise or bonus pay their staff using vouchers," and that the launch of the Athlone Gift Card would "provide a vehicle for industry to support local retailers."

"This gives our local population an opportunity to really carry the local flag and support our retailers who have been suffering in particular at this time," he said.

"The 'shop local' banner is always held high by Chambers of Commerce throughout the country, and Athlone Chamber of Commerce is no different."

Details were announced last week and it's due to be in operation by the end of April.