Hounslow Council is committed to supporting our local businesses, and we know that’s more important now than ever.

This is why we are exploring launching a Hounslow ShopLocal voucher scheme - a local initiative to boost trade in the high street and keep spend in the borough.

What is ShopLocal?

Hounslow Council is providing every household in Hounslow with a £20 electronic or printable voucher which can be redeemed with any participating Hounslow business. This is a great opportunity to get more customers into your business, as well as highlighting to residents what’s available locally and encouraging them to keep supporting their high streets.

Who can take part?

The scheme is simple to join and open to businesses operating in Hounslow that make direct sales to customers. Whether you’re in retail, hospitality, digital tech, the building trade or health and wellbeing, you will be able to be part of this exciting initiative. The scheme goes live to residents 31st August 2021 although you can still join the scheme up until 7th December when the scheme ends.

How does it work?

Voucher redemptions are made by scanning the unique voucher codes using a free app. Merchants will be reimbursed with a bank account credit a few days after the sale is logged on the system. Please click here for more FAQs.

We think it’s really important to do all we can to support businesses like yours and explore all opportunities to do that. It’s really easy to sign up, just click on the link below.

https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/ShopSafeShopLocal

Register Now.

Enjoy the potential benefits:

  • Increased awareness through the app/portal and customer word of mouth.

  • Promotion through Council channels, e.g. enewsletters, social media, public display boards.

  • Be at the forefront of new ways of promoting local shopping, and local sustainable supply chains making a stronger economy for all.

  • Be part of a unique scheme demonstrating tangible and visible support for local businesses.

By registering you will:

  • Ensure you get the option to be part of ShopLocal.

  • Be notified about future ShopLocal plans.

  • Be able to provide feedback and suggestions on new ways ShopLocal can work for you.

To register you will need to provide the following:

  • Phase 1: Contact details (name, email address, phone number) and Business information (Business name, entity type, industry, web and physical address).
  • Phase 2: Photos, logo, opening times, specific address, business description, bank details to receive payments following voucher redemptions

This will allow initial verification checks to be undertaken, to confirm the business exists and operates in Hounslow.

FAQs

How will vouchers be processed on presentation?

Merchants will use the free Evouchers app to scan voucher codes presented to them by voucher holders, or enter the unique voucher code if required. This will either be in the form of a printed letter or via the app.

If you require any training or assistance, please contact support@evouchers.com.

How do I verify that a voucher is valid?

The Evouchers platform takes care of verification, verifying each voucher as it is scanned to ensure validity and voucher balance.

How will the business be reimbursed for voucher sales?

Evouchers will poll all transactions made, and reimburse merchants via BACs payments for any redemptions processed that day.

How long does it take from making a sale to get reimbursed?

Reimbursements are processed as BACs payments, so take up to 7 working days to be processed depending on your banking provider. This also allows for a 3 working day customer cooling off period.

Will the business need to make a claim to get reimbursed for voucher sales?

No, reimbursements are processed automatically.

Are there any fees charged or deducted before reimbursement, will I receive the full value of the sale?

There are no fees charged to retailers participating in this initial scheme. Hounslow Council is paying the costs for the administration of the scheme, the voucher sales you make will be reimbursed in full.

Does the full voucher need to be spent in a single transaction?

No, the value of the transaction is entered in to the mobile app by the server and this amount is deducted from the voucher holder’s voucher balance.

What controls are in place to prevent fraud?

Vouchers are issued using unique, non-sequential voucher codes. Redemption of vouchers is tracked within the Evouchers platform, this enables us to track if and where a voucher has been redeemed.

What commitments is the business taking on by signing up to accept vouchers?

There is no commitment by registering your interest. You will be listed as a Merchant that accepts the vouchers and so should ensure you accept them from Recipients when presented. You can decide to opt out of the scheme at any time should your situation change.

What does the verification process entail when I sign up?

The initial verification process involves simple checks to confirm your business details and location are correct. No additional checks, such as credit checks, are performed at any time.

How is Hounslow Council planning to issue vouchers?

Hounslow Council will post a letter out to all households in the borough, each with a unique alphanumeric and QR code. Residents can either use this letter to redeem their £20 voucher, or download the app and a QR code.

Are there any restrictions on the products and services which can be purchased with the vouchers?

The vouchers will not be valid for over-the-counter purchases of alcohol, cigarettes, vape related products or used to place bets including the purchasing of National Lottery and similar products.

Are any businesses excluded from this initiative?

Gambling venues, vape shops, and shisha bars will not be accepted as merchants for this initiative. Retail premises, such as Off Licences, who predominantly sell products containing alcohol and tobacco/vaping may consider that they have limited products for which the vouchers could be accepted, but are not excluded. The vouchers cannot be spent on alcohol (for off premises consumption), tobacco and vaping products.

Can I withdraw from the scheme at any time?

You are able to opt out of the scheme up until the point where you redeem resident vouchers. After you have redeemed vouchers you are still able to withdraw from the scheme, although there will be a cooling off period to allow for purchase appeals.

How will the data from my business sales be used?

Your data will be shared with Hounslow Council to gauge the success for future and similar schemes, although it will be deleted within 3 months after the scheme comes to an end. Evouchers will delete your data as soon as the scheme ends.

Can I participate if I am an online business?

Yes, if the business is operated from within the borough.

Are national retailers and other businesses which do not operate exclusively in Hounslow able to participate?

The only businesses currently excluded from participating in the scheme are gambling venues, vape product shops, and shisha bars as the Council is keen to allow as many businesses as possible to participate. The Council will seek to ensure there is a good geographical spread and wide range of business types able to participate in the scheme and would like to see local, independent businesses as the primary beneficiaries of the initiative.

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