Spending Local - The Only Limit Is Your Imagination
I finally did it, I’ve spent my £100 spend local card with the local artist Ian Rolls. It’s been sitting in my ‘phone wallet for weeks, staring at me and constantly begging the question “what shall I spend it on”? In the end I had a moment of inspiration, I commissioned Ian to decorate a very simple mirror that has been hanging in our kitchen for years. I dropped it off and a couple of weeks later the mirror was transformed, a permanent memory of a year that will go down in living memory for all sorts of reasons. Yes, I know so bloody middle class!
The Government of Jersey has been criticised in some quarters for having the “audacity” to give us £11 million of our money, I for one would disagree with the naysayers. As the owner of a business that was forced to shut our doors at the height of the pandemic anything that assists our economy to be rebuilt following this catastrophe must be a good thing. That fact that it can only be spent locally was inspired. So, it’s been interesting to see how people spend their £100 windfall.
We’ve seen young students come into our café at Grand Marche buying a lunchtime drink, others have spent their money on a new coffee maker. I’m sure our experience is much the same as many local retailers and we are grateful for this additional spend.
The most heart-warming story I’ve heard is of an individual who has treated themselves to a full English breakfast using their card, whereas normally that would be out of their financial reach. The economists can talk all day about the multiplier effect of £11 million being launched into our economy, but can’t even begin to measure the real human impact £100 has on the lives of those for whom just for once it’s taken away the anxiety of how they will pay next week’s rent.
Chatting to work colleagues, one has decided to spend their money on a tattoo whilst another spent theirs in a shop which is normally reliant on visitors. Not all the stories will be so thoughtful or thought provoking, but wouldn’t it be a revelation if in years to come there was a collective memory of this event. Yes, money is still just money, but I never realised how thought provoking the spending of £100 of your best British pounds could be.
Pictured: Artist Ian Rolls with Cooper & Co. director David Warr
I just want to thank David for the imaginative use of his £100 spend local card. David has consistently sought out local creatives in the island over the years (including me) and supported them where he can. He has an refreshingly enlightened attitude to business himself and is the most creative businessman I know.