Residents are encouraged to support the local economy this festive season through the purchase of an Armidale focused gift card.
Business New England ( formally known as the Armidale Business Chamber) have launched New England Gift Cards that are in stores now and can be redeemed at 40 local Armidale businesses. The initiative is also supported by the Armidale Regional Council and through federal and state government funding.
"When you purchase the New England Gift card, the holder can only buy from the stores involved in the program," said Business New England president Anthony Fox.
"The gift cards can be used more than once, across multiple stores."
Members of the local community and visiting tourists will be able to purchase the cards at a value of their choosing (up to $1000) either online, or at one of the local load-up stores.
The cards can be bought and loaded at the Visitors Information Centre, Concepts, Carrs NewsXpress, Sportspower, Armidale Bicycle Centre, JJ's Newsagency Plus and Skin and Tonic.
"Every time one of the gift cards is purchased, the money stays local," Mr Fox said.
"It is the perfect Christmas gift for those 'hard to buy for' friends and family members."
The cards operate the same as other gift cards in the market, except the New England Gift card can only be used at registered locally owned and operated stores.
"We want the New England Gift Card to send a positive message to the community to help support business and support the local economy," Mr Fox said.
"There are no limits to how many businesses within Armidale can take part in the program and we encourage all locally owned businesses to get involved."
To register to be participate in the program, visit the Business New England website or the New England Gift Card Facebook page.