Businesses in the Aberdeen are being encouraged to sign up to a new Aberdeen Gift Card, which will launch later this month.

The initiative, spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired and supported by Aberdeen City Council, is being introduced as a practical way to support the local economy.

Going live later this month, the Aberdeen Gift Card is a prepaid Mastercard that can be used like a debit or credit card in shops, bars, hairdressers and beauticians, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and other services throughout the city. Utilising technology provided by Scottish tech firm Miconex, it is part of efforts to give the city centre a boost and encourage people to spend in person with local businesses who provide local employment and support the livelihoods of local people.

More than 60 businesses have already signed up to be part of the scheme, and Aberdeen Inspired is encouraging businesses across the city to get involved and register to be part of the Aberdeen Gift Card scheme.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The introduction of the Aberdeen Gift Card is integral to our mission of supporting businesses in Aberdeen, both independent and national, to grow and adapt, as well as encouraging the public to get behind our city centre and support it.

“We are pleased to already have 60 businesses signed up to it ahead of the official launch later this month and would encourage others to take advantage of this scheme to showcase their business and bring more spend through their doors.

“As we enter the build-up to the festive period, shoppers will be able to give the give the gift of Aberdeen this Christmas, and also support the many fantastic businesses we have in the city centre during a time when it is most needed.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “We are delighted to support such a fantastic festive initiative, it’s important in this challenging climate that we all get behind the wide range of businesses in Aberdeen. From culture venues to hospitality and retail, Aberdeen has a unique offering and we encourage all businesses to get involved.

“We will continue to work with partner organisations to ensure that we can do all that we can to support local business and the wider community here in Aberdeen.”

The Aberdeen Gift Card is also being supported by Bon Accord, which will replace their Bon Accord Gift Card, and will include the 80 outlets in Bon Accord and St Nicholas Mall.

Craig Stevenson, Bon Accord centre manager, said: “Bon Accord is delighted to be a part of the Aberdeen City Gift Card. This is a great example of how we can support our city centre businesses, after what has been a challenging year for many of us.

“We have had a wave of support from our retailers and sign ups to the card have been strong, with a wide range of businesses getting involved including John Lewis, Next, Boots and The Disney Store amongst others.”

John Wigglesworth of Books and Beans is one of the first cafes to sign up to the initiative. He added: “Books and Beans welcome the Aberdeen Gift Card as it is provides a simple, single and practical card to help people sample the great products, food, drinks and service available from fantastic and passionate businesses in the city centre.”

For more information and to sign your business up to the Aberdeen Gift Card, please visit https://www.aberdeeninspired.com/project/aberdeen-gift-card