This Christmas Square partnered with Holywell, North Wales, on their ‘Digital Town’ initiative to encourage shoppers back to the high street. With over 55% of shoppers in Wales more likely to shop locally if they know businesses could accept card payments, we knew that helping increase card acceptance in the town would make a big difference.
The closure of all but one of the high street banks in Holywell has made access to cash difficult for shoppers and business owners alike. By increasing card acceptance, we hope that business owners can spend less time travelling to the banks in other towns and spend more time growing their businesses.
This is the first initiative of its kind in the UK and has been a combined effort between Holywell Town Council, local MP David Hanson and Square (below).
Holywell Digital Town
In the weeks running up to Christmas, 50 local businesses have been equipped with Square Readers so that they can accept credit and debit cards — many for the first time. Square’s technology, which sends transfers as soon as the next business day, means that businesses can spend less time worrying about cash flow during the festive rush and beyond.
The campaign has been a great success for both shoppers and businesses; over 95% of the town’s independent High Street businesses are now accepting card payments.
In partnership with David Hanson MP, Square is also funding three £1,000 ‘Digital Skills’ bursaries for business owners in the Delyn constituency. Applications for the bursaries are open to businesses of all sizes in the area, and can be put towards courses, training, projects or technology to help improve digital skills.
David Hanson MP commented:
“Embracing new technologies is key to the growth of local communities. Holywell town centre has a vibrant independent business community but since the closure of several High Street banks, there’s fewer cash points around and less cash coming into the town. We’ve been working with the payments technology company Square to get businesses set up to take cards quickly, easily and affordably, and are delighted that 95% of the town’s high street businesses are now accepting cards.
“I’m also excited to announce that Square have agreed to fund three new ‘Digital Skills’ bursaries for three Delyn businesses who want to improve their own digital skills in 2018, and look forward to seeing the entries we receive and the positive impact these will have going forwards.”
The launch of Holywell Digital Town has been supported by local business owners across the area. Cllr. Ted Palmer, Chair of Town Centre Sub-Committee, and owner of Sweeney Ted’s Barber Shop, has started taking card payments for the first time with Square.
“I didn’t really realise how many people would want to pay by card until I set up my Square Reader - I took two payments within the first hour. It was really simple and I got my money in my account the next day, so it’s certainly something I’d recommend to any independent business owner.
“With only one cashpoint left in town, people are carrying less and less cash around with them than ever before. The Digital Town project has come at just the right time and gives local businesses another way to make sure they can increase their takings - particularly in the run up to the busy festive season.”
You can read more about the initiative on the BBC Website.
To apply for one of three £1,000 ‘Digital Skills’ bursaries, entrants need to email [email protected] with up to 100 words on how they would spend the money, by January 31st, 2018.
The entries will be judged by a panel including David Hanson MP, Sarah Harvey, UK Lead for Square, and Rob Saunders, Managing Director of Holywell-based design and web agency Daydream Design. The winning three entries will receive £1,000 to fund their project.
Competition open to legal business owners over the age of 18 with a residential or business address registered in Delyn constituency. To apply for one of three £1,000 Digital Skills Bursaries, entrants need to email [email protected] with up to 100 words on how they would spend the money, along with their name, address and business name between BST 8th December, 2017 and 11:59 pm BST 31st January 2018 Winners will be notified by email on or before 28th February 2018. No purchase necessary for entry. Void where prohibited by law. Full Terms and Conditions Apply.