A CHESTER-BASED accountancy practice is doing its part to help the High Street this Christmas.

Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers has purchased gift cards for its team this Christmas to spend at over 100 retailers, leisure suppliers, bars and restaurants in the city centre.

The Chester Gift Card is the brainchild of Chester BID to save the high street shops from suffering from the lockdown at one of the year’s busiest shopping periods.

John Farrell, one of the directors at Ellis & Co, said: “The gift card is a wonderful idea and we are so pleased to be able to support local businesses.

“We weren’t able to take the team out for our usual Christmas celebrations this year, so we have gifted these cards instead.

“It means the team can treat themselves as they wish, all whilst shopping local.”

The Chester Gift Card is part of a well-established Town and City Gift Cards Programme from Scottish fintech Miconex.

It has been rolled across over 50 UK towns and cities including Glasgow and Bath, where the support to the city’s businesses has been invaluable.

Over £2 million has been spent through Town and City Gift Cards since the first programme was introduced in Perth in 2015.

Carl Critchlow from Chester BID said: “The city centre businesses have come together this year perhaps more than ever before with numerous innovations and collaborations.

"The Chester Gift Card is another creative solution supporting our local economy during a challenging economic landscape, with a drop in GDP of 20.4% in the UK. The shop local message is everywhere and what the Chester Gift Card provides employers with is a way of rewarding staff that takes into account the need to drive our local economy recovery.

“We’d love to see more employers follow Ellis & Co’s lead so we can lock spend in locally while rewarding employees and customers. We will continue our battle cry asking people to ‘Give the gift of Chester this Christmas'.”

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex, said the Chester Gift Card is a desirable gift this Christmas.

He said: “Multi venue gift cards like the Chester Gift Card are rising in popularity, to 37.7% of all gift cards purchased in October because people like having a wide choice of where to spend their gift card. It’s fantastic to see Ellis & Co supporting their city with the Chester Gift Card.”

The Chester Gift Card can be spent with over 100 merchants in Chester. Gift cards can be pre-loaded with any amount from £5 - £500.

For further information or to purchase The Chester Gift Card, visit www.chestergiftcard.com.