Wellington gift voucher initiative supports shops in time of need

Publish Time:2020-03-19 10:40:51Source:nzherald.co.nz

【Introduction】:Wellingtonians are getting behind their favourite local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing gift vouchers to use in future.

Can't beat Wellington on a good day? Don't forget to support it on a bad day.

Wellingtonians are getting behind their favourite local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing gift vouchers to use in future.

The grassroots initiative, called Indie Wellington, is an online resource sharing details of cafes, shops, salons and other businesses which sell online or provide gift cards. The idea is for locals to show their support financially by purchasing a gift card from the business, which they can use in future once the crisis settles down.

It's being spearheaded by Wellington's independent Bolton Hotel, which is also offering vouchers for future use.

"While it may soon no longer be practical to visit your local café, coffee shop or boutique, you can still support your favourite small businesses by purchasing gift vouchers to enjoy once the crisis is over and ensure our favourite watering holes, salons and brunch spots bounce back stronger than ever," the Indie Wellington website states.

Bolton Hotel Sales and Marketing Coordinator Paul Johnson says some businesses have already seen their their upcoming bookings reduce by 80 per cent already.

"We've seen so much on social media from across the globe of small businesses, struggling with the current crisis, offering their services online and selling vouchers as a tool to weather the storm, though many businesses are struggling to get the word out of their marketing efforts alone," Johnson told the Herald.

"We hope that through the site, a boost in voucher sales will help provide our small and independent businesses with the cash flow they need to get through this current crisis as customers begin to self-isolate."

Local, independent businesses in Wellington can be listed on the website for free, and Bolton isn't taking any commission from the sales.

Some of the shops already listed include Craft Beer Tours NZ, Tea Pea, Aura Skin Wellness, Hillside Kitchen & Cellar and Wilson Trollope.

The Indie Wellington website claims the capital is arguably New Zealand's best-kept secret when it comes to local producers, eateries and accommodation.

"We've collected a selection of local haunts who provide gift vouchers so you can start planning your Wellington trip, even if your travel plans aren't finalised," it states.

WellingtonNZ has begun a social campaign entitled #LoveLocal, which aims to encourage residents to share their favourite cafes, venues or salons, so they aren't forgotten during the pandemic.

"Wellingtonians, our local businesses need your support now more than ever! Many of our amazing local businesses don't have the option to work from home. Food and retail businesses are still open. Many of them deliver and have online stores," WellingtonNZ tweeted.

"Over the coming weeks, we'll be encouraging you to #LoveLocal and support businesses right across our beautiful region.

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