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Shopping locally could help save you money

By Hayley Robinson

If you're looking out for bargains then shopping in Sittingbourne could pay dividends.

Twenty-five businesses have now signed up to the Shop Local First Scheme which offers discounts, multi-buys and gifts to customers who show their loyalty card at the time of purchase.

The incentive card scheme, which was launched by Swale council and funded by a grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government, aims to support local businesses and encourage more people to use businesses in their local shopping areas.

Businesses who have joined the scheme have received a pack, including a window sticker and an incentive poster to display telling customers with a loyalty card what incentive they can expect in store.

Cllr John Wright, executive portfolio holder for regeneration, said: "The council is really keen to bolster the assistance it is giving to local businesses.

"We have seen how well the scheme has worked on Sheppey and have spoken to local traders about launching the initiative in Sittingbourne and are encouraged by the broad support.

"As an improving authority we work closely and share best practice with other local authorities, and have worked with Thanet District Council to create Shop Local First here in Swale."

Jill Read, Swale council’s regeneration project officer for major projects, said "This scheme has been a long time in the planning and its great that we are now at a point where we can extend the scheme to Sittingbourne.

"Traders have been saying they need incentives to support local businesses and encourage people into the town. I hope that more local retailers and business will be encouraged to join the scheme and help make our town a good place to shop."

n To join the scheme contact Jill Read on 01795 417592 or email jillread@swale.gov.uk

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