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Enhanced choice is on the cards for Victorians with new shop local initiative

Victoria has launched a new Gift Card to encourage local spending in the city. The Downtown Victoria Gift Card can be spent with multiple participating stores, restaurants, venues and services downtown, and is available to buy online from $5.

Led by the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) the new Gift Card will be used by DVBA in various downtown events and activities, and is also available for consumers and organizations to buy as gifts.

Jeff Bray, CEO of the DVBA said the Gift Card blends choice with support for local:

“We are excited to introduce the Downtown Victoria Gift Card. As a new component of our continuous marketing of downtown, this program will benefit our business members by guiding new customers to shop, dine, and experience all that downtown Victoria has to offer.

“The importance of shop local has become more prevalent in recent years and the Downtown Victoria Gift Card blends support for local businesses with huge choice for the recipient. Local organizations can utilize the Gift Card to reward their people, showing their commitment to supporting local in Victoria. It could even be used as part of programs to welcome staff back to the office.”

Downtown taco bar Tacofino and Middle Eastern restaurant Superbaba are both part of the new Downtown Victoria Gift Card. Josh Carlsen from the venues said:

“Tacofino is a West Coast inspired taco place which has been in Victoria for 10 years now and for 15 years overall, whilst Superbaba has been in Victoria a little over 7 years. I think the Gift Card is a great program for the city because it provides support for the whole downtown core, and that isn’t something that many initiatives can offer.

“As a restaurant, bringing new people in is important, especially post pandemic. The office workers are gradually coming back downtown, and the Downtown Victoria Gift Card could be the incentive they need to get out exploring the local businesses again. With a Gift Card in their hand, I think people will also be more experimental and that could help them to discover some of Victoria’s hidden gems.

“It makes a huge difference when people support local businesses because you’re not only supporting the business, you’re supporting the people behind the businesses, our families and our friends. It is these businesses that in turn give back to the community and it creates a positive ripple effect that helps the whole city, making it a unique, vibrant place to live and work. We’re looking forward to accepting the Gift Card at Superbaba and Tacofino.”

The Downtown Victoria Gift Card can also be spent at Bay Centre Shopping Centre. Darlene J. Hollstein is General Manager at the Bay Centre and said collaborating on the Gift Card enhances the proposition for customers:

“Bay Centre is a regional shopping centre and the only shopping centre downtown, with department store Hudson’s Bay, big name brands, 18 different eateries including Earls, Boardwalk Burgers and Good Food Coffeehouse, plus a food court. Over 30% of our businesses are local including Market Collective, representing the jewellery, gifts and crafts from over 150 talented artisans.

“We’re accepting the new Downtown Victoria Gift Card at Bay Centre because the more businesses that participate, the more valuable the Gift Card becomes for the customer. This is a Gift Card that’s good in the Bay Centre but also in the greater Downtown area. It represents a strong value proposition and makes the Gift Card attractive for gifting, and even for self-use or to give to children for back to school shopping.

“I think the Downtown Victoria Gift Card is a great opportunity for people to rediscover their downtown, so they can see what’s new. A lot has changed downtown, often for the better as businesses have become clearer about who their customer is and what they have to offer.

“Usually, the little mom and pop shops don’t have the synergies to work alongside the bigger brands and stores but by being a part of the Gift Card, they can. We’re all downtown businesses, and we’re all sharing the same customers, so it makes sense to collaborate for the benefit of customers and the success of our downtown.”

Mayor, Marianne Alto, is also welcoming the launch of the new Downtown Victoria Gift Card:

“I’m happy to see the launch of the Downtown Victoria Gift Card program,” said Mayor, Marianne Alto. “This initiative will help boost our local economy, and provide a great opportunity for locals to explore the shops and services at the heart of our city.”

The technology for the Downtown Victoria Gift Card is provided by fintech Miconex in association with international payments technology solutions provider EML Payments.  Miconex operates its Downtown Gift Card concept in Canada and the US, and over 100 Town & City Gift Card programs in the UK and Ireland.

The Downtown Victoria Gift Card is issued by Peoples Trust Company. Card funds are not insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or any other government deposit insurer or agency. Funds do not expire, non-reloadable and no cash access. For Cardholder Agreement or Customer Service: www.getmybalance.com or 1-833-558-1108.