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Downtown Regina is ‘where it’s at’ as new Gift Card launches

Downtown Regina has introduced its own Gift Card as it steps up shop local efforts in the core.

The Downtown Regina Gift Card is a physical Gift Card redeemable with multiple participating restaurants, coffee shops, stores, salons and service in Regina, and is being led by Regina Downtown Business Improvement District’s (RDBID).

Regina’s new Gift Card was inspired by the popular corporate Gift Card rebate program offered by RDBID to support local downtown businesses.

RDBID’s Executive Director, Judith Veresuk, said that the new Downtown Regina Gift Card will make supporting small businesses in Regina easier:

“Regina is a big city with a small town feel, and shop local is a sentiment we’ve championed over recent years. Our businesses and city keeps on evolving, and introducing our own Gift Card is the next step so we can celebrate our unique businesses and show that Regina is ‘where it’s at’.

“We have lots of office workers and companies based downtown, and organizations really loved the rebate program as a way to reward and incentivize their teams. However, there was lots for the organization to do, from working out which staff member wanted which Gift Card to filling out forms to get a rebate, and not all businesses saw the benefit. The new Downtown Regina Gift Card gives so many options for recipients all within one Gift Card.”

Landmark restaurant The Copper Kettle is Regina’s longest standing locally owned business operating in the same location. Owner Anna Gardikiotis said they are welcoming the new Downtown Regina Gift Card:

“The Copper Kettle has been downtown since 1963 and is considered a local institution by many in our community. My parents, who were immigrants to Canada, were the founders and introduced our award winning gourmet spinach and feta pizza to Regina. I think the new Downtown Regina Gift Card will showcase the multitude of local businesses in our downtown, with more choice for customers. It may encourage customers to try local businesses they may not have otherwise known about, or haven’t visited in a long time. It also allows our local businesses to be visible online to compete with the big brands.

“The Gift Card can be easily combined into a wonderful experience, for example, a retail, hotel and dining staycation in our beautiful and walkable downtown district, with the convenience of being able to buy online. This reaches out to the broader community. In our case, we have a lot of customers who grew up with us then moved away, and now reach out from wherever they now live to buy online cards.

“Local support has kept us around for over 60 years and in turn, we support our local community wherever possible, whether that’s hosting fundraisers for local causes, discretely feeding someone down on their luck or restoring our heritage building using local suppliers. Our entire business is built around the local community and supporting those within it – staff, customers and businesses, and the Gift Card is a celebration of our community.”

Boutique eyewear store The Optical Shoppe is also part of the new Downtown Regina Gift Card. Owner Lisa McIntyre said:

“We’re a local eyewear store offering prescription glasses, sunglasses and frames that you won’t find anywhere else. It is a great thing to be able to buy eyewear in person, our staff are all trained in face shapes and colours and we really pride ourselves on service.

“The corporate rebate program was fine but we didn’t see many of them in store. I think the new Downtown Regina Gift Card will give people increased choice, and in doing so, spread the benefit of shop local to many more Downtown businesses.

“People are often really surprised when they visit Downtown on just how many stores we have, and how much they can do during their visit. The new Downtown Regina Gift Card gives people an incentive and opportunity to experience it all first hand, all in an easy to use Gift Card.”

Aaron Burnett from Colin O’Brian Man’s Shoppe said they’re excited to accept the new Gift Card in store:

“Colin O’Brian is a luxury men’s store, which has been located downtown for almost 30 years. The Gift Card is an amazing idea because it gives people the ability to buy one product and support so many businesses. It’s also an easy way for organizations to support the community that supports them by using the Gift Card for employee rewards.

“Because the Gift Card works through one encompassing payment program, it’s simple for businesses to accept the card. Small businesses are busy enough as it is, so ease of use is vital. Things have to be simple for people to buy and use the Gift Card too and it’s great that the Downtown Regina Gift Card is available to buy online, with delivery direct to the recipient. People can buy online and spend downtown.

“We have our own Gift Card at Colin O’Brian and we’ll be accepting the Downtown Regina Gift Card too. Our own Gift Card is good for long term, loyal customers whereas the Downtown Regina Gift Card is more likely to bring in new customers. And people always spend above the value on a Gift Card too, because the majority of the purchase is already paid for them. We’re excited to be involved in the program and start accepting the Gift Card here at Colin O’Brian.”

The technology for the Downtown Regina 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 Regina Gift Card is available to buy online with delivery direct to the recipient, with a Click and Collect service available to the RDBID office.

The Downtown Regina 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.