Living Wage Employers celebrate Scotland Loves Local Week

29 August 2023

From the 28th of August to the 3rd of September, employers across Scotland will be celebrating the first-ever Scotland Loves Local Week. The week is all about championing the Scotland Loves Local message, putting localism at the heart of a stronger, fairer future for Scotland’s towns.

Over 7000 businesses in Scotland are now part of the trailblazing Scotland Loves Local Gift Card, including over 4000 independent businesses many of which are Living Wage accredited employers. This innovative gift card was introduced in 2021 by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Miconex, supported by the Scottish Government, with gift cards available for regions across Scotland.

What is unique about the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card is that each regional card must be spent locally in that area within shops, restaurants, salons, hotels, and attractions, keeping spend locked into local communities. Working like a regular Mastercard, all types and sizes of local businesses are eligible to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card. It is free for businesses to be a part of the program, with no additional equipment required.

To celebrate Scotland Loves Local Week, we spoke with two Dundee-based Living Wage employers, who also participate in the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card scheme.

In 2019, Dundee became the first UK city to be recognised for its Living Wage ambition. Much like the Loves Local campaign, the Living Wage Places scheme harnesses the power of local action to ensure more workers are covered by a Living Wage commitment. The Living Wage Places recognition also enables local people to enjoy a higher level of disposable income, benefitting local businesses in the form of increased spending. There are currently more than 125 Living Wage accredited employers in Dundee that have collectively uplifted over 2 thousand staff to the real Living Wage.

Penny Wither, Commercial Manager at the male grooming emporium, The Mantuary, had this to say: 

“At The Mantuary, we set out to create a positive space where Dundee’s gentlemen could gather, socialise, and enjoy some much-needed time to themselves. As a team, we believe that true care and attention extend beyond the services we provide to our valued clients, and as a result we are proud to be a Living Wage employer. By valuing and investing in our talented team, not only do we want to ensure their well-being but also contribute to a thriving community. 

In the time since we opened, we’ve loved becoming a part of Dundee Loves Local, and celebrating the small and independent businesses which make this city so great. From welcoming patrons in for a cocktail during the Think Thursday initiative to promoting Dundee Loves Local Gift Cards for Christmas and Father’s Day, we look forward to continuing to enjoy being part of such a wonderful initiative.”

Manny Baber, General Manager at Hotel Indigo Dundee & Staybridge Suites in Dundee said:

“I am proud to champion the real Living Wage as I strongly believe it makes a substantial difference to our workforce and a huge benefit to everyone. Our staff are much more relaxed, satisfied, and loyal to the organisation with an excellent sense of well-being. It is hugely important to recognise the current pressures of everyday living and it is important to us to support our teams where possible.

We have seen a significant reduction in staff turnover, a measurable increase in productivity, and fantastic growth in engagement indicators. When we do recruit we are able to attract strong talent by becoming a leading employer in our sector in the region. One of the most important support mechanisms is that the team can work less for the same money thus allowing more personal space and quality family time, great for mental health. I would urge every organisation to consider paying the real Living Wage and experience the organisational growth. “

Join other Living Wage employers across Scotland by signing up to accept the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card by visiting:

If you would like to learn more about the Living Wage Places project, please contact Christine McCaig or visit

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