Open for Business - Buy Local Fraser Coast
Buying local is the best way to support businesses on the Fraser Coast; it’s great for employment, communities, and the economy. For every $100 spent locally, it provides up to $180 benefit to the local economy through the multiplier effect.
Our Open for Business – Buy Local initiative is focussed on encouraging the Fraser Coast community to think about and re-consider their purchasing habits for the benefit of our local economy and community.
At the centre of this initiative is the Fraser Coast Gift Card, a unique and convenient gifting solution that works through the EFTPOS system and can only redeemed at participating Fraser Coast businesses. Council has partnered with Why Leave Town (WLT) Promotions who specialise in supporting local government entities and business chambers to support buy local strategies.
The Fraser Coast Gift Card makes a great gift for those who are hard to buy for, and it’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving as every time one of the cards is purchased, the money stays local.
Our number one priority is the Fraser Coast. Benefits for Fraser Coast shoppers include:
Keeping it local – All money stays within the Fraser Coast region. The gift cards are purchased in the area and can only be redeemed at participating stores in the area. By using the cards, Fraser Coast shoppers are supporting jobs in their communities and investing in their local economy.
One card, endless possibilities – Having a great variety of businesses as part of the network means you can give someone a gift and they can buy anything they want! People can use it to go treat themselves or just take care of the essential items.
The easy way to shop – You can do all your gift shopping in one place. You don’t have to think about what to buy someone. It’s more thoughtful than cash only gifts.
It’s free – All business set up costs will be covered by Fraser Coast Regional Council.
It’s easy to be involved – Once businesses are set up in the program, the gift cards operate like any other EFTPOS card.
Local support – Fully trained local council staff will be on hand to support businesses to participate. A 24/7 support hotline through Why Leave Town promotions is also available.
Marketing and promotional support – Access a wide range of marketing collateral available for you to download from this page and use in your own campaigns.
It’s great for your business brand – Participating shows that you support the local economy and care about your local community.
Sustainability – Participating contributes to creating a better business environment on the Fraser Coast and helps to promote our unique regional profile.
Cards can be purchased at a select number of Fraser Coast businesses that we call “Load Up Stores”.
Register your business
It’s easy to become involved and the sooner you join the sooner you reap the rewards of your community supporting local business. Everybody wins! There’s no cost for you to register and be part of the program. All you need is an EFTPOS machine to reap the benefits. It’s a normal EFTPOS transaction.
Redemption Stores - redemption stores are where the gift card can be used to purchase products or services.
Load Up Stores - a smaller subset of businesses where the gift cards can be purchased and ‘loaded’ with the desired fund, as well as used to purchase products or services. The types of businesses that are ideal Load Up Stores are those who would benefit from increased foot traffic, additional promotion (we’ll be regularly letting the public know where they can buy cards from) and have good accessibility. Please contact us directly if you would like to discuss this further.
Note: Load Up stores should also check with their terminal provider if there are any fees associated with processing REFUNDS. There are some providers that have no fees associated with REFUNDS, however WLT strongly recommend that businesses check this with their provider before becoming a Load Up Store.
The Buy Local – Fraser Coast Gift Card program is suitable for all types of businesses….not just retail.
It’s also great for hospitality, accommodation, hair & beauty services, recreation, groceries & produce, automotive, fitness & wellbeing, etc etc etc…pretty much any goods and services where you interface with your customer and you have an EFTPOS terminal.
Cards can be purchased at a select number of stores that we call “Load Up Stores”. They can also be purchased online through the WLT website.
The customer decides how much money to load onto the card – anywhere between $10 and $1,000 – this money can then be used to make purchases in any participating store on the Fraser Coast.
The cards can only be loaded up once, however the cardholder can use their card for multiple transactions across multiple participating stores, and can even check their balance online. When checking the balance online cardholders will be able to see a full statement of where and when the card was used, as well as the expiry date of the card.
The cards have an expiry date three (3) years from the date of purchase/load up.
The cards are manufactured with PVC plastic and contain a magnetic strip that is encoded with the card details. Each card has a unique identification number as well as a 4 digit pin located on the back of the card.
The cards will work on all standard EFTPOS terminals as well as EFTPOS terminals that are integrated with a computer, and are made to the same standard as any of the bank issued debit style cards. They are required to be swiped through the EFTPOS terminal to transact, therefore they will not operate via pay wave.
Participating businesses will be charged standard fees for each transaction that takes place on their EFTPOS terminal, as per their individual arrangements with their banks. That is, they will only be charged what they normally would be charged when transacting any other EFTPOS savings card. There are NO ADDITIONAL FEES charged by WLT.
Lost & damaged cards - The cards need to be treated like cash, and hence if they are lost then this is just like losing cash. However, if the card number is known then the card can be replaced. Holders of the card are encouraged to register the card when they first receive it just in case it becomes lost.
Thank your staff – thank your staff with a Fraser Coast Gift Card throughout the year or as an end-of-year bonus.
Perfect client gift – include a gift card as part of your corporate hamper to clients.
Market your business – host a competition or raffle with a Fraser Coast Gift Card included in the prize.
Charitable gift – give a charity, community organisation or person in-need the gift of purchasing essentials.
Fundraising – sporting clubs and community organisations can utilise Fraser Coast Gift Cards as prizes in their fundraising raffles.
The Fraser Coast Gift Card program has a number of benefits for customers, businesses and communities as a whole.
Just some of these are detailed below.
Keeping it Local
- All money stays within this community. As soon as a Fraser Coast Gift Card is loaded it can ONLY be spent in a participating store on the Fraser Coast.
- Another tool to encourage people to consider shopping locally.
One Card Endless Possibilities
- You can give someone a gift and they can buy anything they want.
- Having a great variety of stores as part of the network it becomes an acceptable gift.
- People can use it to go treat themselves or just take care of the essential items like groceries and fuel.
The Easy Way to Shop
- You can do all your Christmas shopping in one place.
- You don’t have to think about what to buy someone.
- Is more thoughtful than cash only gifts.
- Is better to give than money as this forces people to go buy themselves a gift rather than just put the money in their wallet for everyday expenses.
- For a lot of businesses this will be easier to manage than gift vouchers.
- Can work in conjunction with current gift voucher programs.
Additional Exposure for Businesses
- Gives businesses more advertising as Council and Why Leave Town Promotions are continually promoting the program and our program partners.
- Local Chambers of Commerce will also be promoting the program, as will the participating businesses, and so this again just leads to more exposure for all businesses in the program.
More than just a Gift Card
- Can be used to give discounts – but only if the participating business chooses to.
- Give instead of sponsorship/donations etc. so that you can be sure the money will stay local.
- If the business gives a gift (e.g. Christmas bonus) to their employee using the card rather than cash it is tax free up to a certain amount.
- Businesses can use it for petty cash transactions
- Businesses can use the cards as sales tools to encourage customers to spend more or not put items on accounts.
How many times can the card be used?
The gift card amount can be spent a little at a time or all at once. However, the cards can only be loaded once. This means that the initial value loaded onto the card cannot be added to.
What happens if I lose my gift card?
The gift card is like cash. It is non-redeemable if it’s lost. However if the card number is known then the card can be replaced. It is for this reason that purchasers are encouraged to register the card online.
How do I check the balance on my gift card?
The balance of funds remaining on the card can be checked online via the WLT website. It includes a statement of where and when the card has been used, ant its expiry date.
Where is the money that’s loaded onto the gift cards held?
All funds that are loaded onto the cards are stored within a separate trust account. No funds are held by Why Leave Town Promotions, Fraser Coast Regional Council or the participating businesses. This is vital in protecting the value of the card for the card holder.
The trust account sits with Cuscal, the largest independent provider of payments solutions for the Australian financial services sector. Cuscal partner with more than 150 different companies, process more than three million transactions a day, and switch (i.e. transaction routing and processing) for over one-third of ATMs across Australia. To find more about Cuscal head to https://cuscalpayments.com.au/.
What happens with the funds when the cards expire?
Card funds that remain after 3 years from being loaded will expire, in line with government legislation requirements. The cards themselves expire 6 years after their printing date – regardless of if they have been loaded or not.
Once cards expire then the holder of the cards cannot access this money. The amount left on the cards at expiry is known as the breakage. 75% of any funds left on the card after expiry are returned to WLT (the remaining 25% go to the card providers that WLT use for this program). Of the 75% that is returned to WLT, 100% of these funds are passed back on to Fraser Coast Regional Council. That is, WLT makes NO profit from expired funds in our programs. Given that the WLT brand is all about keeping money within local communities, we are very transparent about all breakage and do not want to be seen to be profiting from this.
What systems won’t the cards work on?
Please note that the cards WILL NOT work on Square, PayPal or similar card readers. Although some of these terminals have a swipe function and will accept EFTPOS cards, these terminals operate differently to standard EFTPOS terminals, and hence cannot be ‘locked down’. The locking down process is at the core of the WLT system as it is what ensures that the money can only be spent at participating stores.
To get involved in this program or to find out more information please email Council’s Economic Development Team or telephone Lisa Lewis, Economic Development Officer Innovation Projects on 0436 811 312.