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Northern Ireland: All adults to get 100 pound voucher to use in physical stores

By Huw Hughes

3 May 2021

Every adult in Northern Ireland is to receive a 100 pound voucher to use in physical stores in a bid to stimulate local businesses as they reopen, the country’s economy minister Diane Dodds has announced.

All people over 18 will be eligible to apply for a prepaid card which must be used in brick and mortar stores in the country, not online.

The High Street Stimulus (HSS) scheme, which is slated to open at the end of the summer, is a “vital part” of the country’s broader Economic Recovery Action Plan, which aims to boost local businesses following months of store closures.

Non-essential retailers in Northern Ireland reopened last week for the first time since before Christmas.

The government estimates the HHS scheme will result in up to 1.4 million people spending an extra 140 million pounds on high streets rather than online.

“I am excited to see shoppers back in our high streets, customers once again enjoying outdoor hospitality and the return of holidaymakers to self-contained accommodation,” Dodds said in a statement. “I am optimistic because the reopening of our economy is the most important first step towards economic recovery.”

Speaking about the timing of the scheme, Dodd added: “We have commissioned research into when the HSS would be most beneficial to our economic recovery. We expect there will be pent up demand following the easing of restrictions. Therefore we believe that the end of the summer is the appropriate time to deliver this spending boost.”