Launch of our Shopping Vouchers 2015

vouchers

Mullingar Chamber of Commerce is hoping that their shopping voucher scheme will get a bumper uptake this year thanks to an extra special seasonal gift in this year’s Budget.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has fast tracked an increase in the value of non cash bonuses or benefits staff can receive from their employers without paying tax to ensure the change was in place before Christmas.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our business community to reward their staff and also support each other by purchasing the Mullingar Chamber Shopping Voucher and use them as a Christmas Bonus,” said Brigid Manley, Mullingar Chamber President.

“The voucher scheme is one of the key measures in a vibrant ‘Shop Local’ Campaign spearheaded by the Chamber. Retail Excellence Ireland put the multiplier effect of four on every euro spent locally. So the Chamber’s voucher sales last year, which exceeded €100,000, were worth well in excess of €400,000 to this area.

“Add to that the complex inter relationships that means we all benefit from each other’s success. A vibrant town centre is a vital part of what attracts industry to our Business Parks, thriving evening economies attracts new business to set up here and in the simplest terms, spending here, with our companion businesses makes their business strong, secures employment, underpins growth and ensures survival.”

The current limit is set at €250 and Minster Noonan’s increase to €500 was expected to take effect from 2016 onwards. The Department of Finance has implemented the changes in time for Christmas,

“An employer can provide an employee with a once-off, annual non-cash benefit that is not liable for tax. A Cash payment is fully taxed but a Mullingar Chamber Shopping Voucher is not liable for tax and I know it is as good as cash in this town because hundreds of businesses participate in the scheme, so people receiving the voucher can use it for their Christmas week shop, buy fuel, treat themselves to beautiful clothes, perfume, new shoes, get your hair and nails done, have a romantic meal, head out with friends for lunch, buy gifts. It is the perfect way to reward staff and work for this town,” believes Brigid.

And the voucher is not just perfect as a Christmas Box, the Chamber believe that it is the perfect Christmas Gift for friends and family.

“I would be telling everyone that would be considering giving a gift of money to friends and family at Christmas to consider multiplying the amount by four for Mullingar by buying our Shopping Voucher.

“When you use these vouchers you are keeping money circulating among your own community. These next ten weeks are when a lot of businesses especially in the retail sector to the majority of their trading and it is vital we support them by working as hard as we can to promote shopping. So while the employers giving staff bonuses have a huge impact so does every twenty euro’s that is going in a thank you card, or a Christmas Card to friends, neighbours and family.

“So whether you are availing of the full €500 Christmas Bonus or putting twenty euro in a card for your postman, please look to Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and buy the Mullingar Chamber of Commerce Shopping Voucher.”

Mullingar Chamber Shopping Vouchers come in €10, €20 and €50 denominations and are valid for two years. There are over 140 participating local businesses including hair salons, restaurants, toy shops, food and drink, travel agents and there is no commission on this voucher – €100 is worth €100 and costs €100.

Employers considering the Mullingar Chamber Shopping Voucher as a staff bonus can save 56% by rewarding the staff in this way. The scheme is called the Small Benefits Exemption Scheme. Company directors and employees can receive a non-cash bonus of up to €500 in value on a completely tax free basis each year. The payment must be in a non-cash form and the Chamber Shopping will save money by meeting the criteria of this scheme.

“The Chamber can advise any business considering taking advantage of this scheme and there are conditions for example, the shopping voucher must be purchased from company funds and can only be purchased once. To maximise the tax relief available, you should take the full €500 voucher and the shopping voucher is also a fully deductible business expense for your company.”

The vouchers are available to purchase directly from the Mullingar Chamber Offices 12 Mount St., Mullingar by calling Tel: 044 – 93 44044 or email sales@mullingarchamber.ie also you can purchase them at Mullingar Credit Union on Oliver Plunkett St., Mullingar. For more information please visit the voucher page of our website.

Some photos from the launch

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