First Bus offers free ride to shoppers supporting independent traders

Users of OPEN, a gift card service designed to help independent traders, will now be offered a free ride by First Bus.

The deal gives everyone who orders an OPEN gift card the extra gift of free travel for a day.

This will help both them and the friend or loved one they bought the card for, to use the bus to visit shops. OPEN, a start-up that launched in lockdown a year ago, currently has more than 80 independent businesses accepting its card in Leeds and the surrounding region

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The offer is now live.

“We know it is crucial to get a share of consumer spending in the lead up to Christmas and firmly believe this partnership can help people enjoy more time in the places they love going to or discover new outlets and try sustainable travel to get there.

“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to welcome people back into Leeds and support its vibrant communities and independent businesses who provide the rich variety of retail, hospitality and leisure the city has to offer.”

Tim Rooke, Co-founder of OPEN, said: “OPEN gives employers an option to reward their staff this Christmas with a gift card that can be spent in independent businesses. We know from research that most staff reward options are for the same big retailers. OPEN allows this reward money to be spent supporting local communities. Also, with over 80 locations to spend our gift cards, people have so much choice. This fantastic partnership with First West Yorkshire will allow card holders to travel for free across the city to discover new locations.

“We are curating an experience for users of the card,” added Tim.

“A lot of staff from larger employers live where these independent businesses are based and this is an opportunity to give employees something different to visiting the usual national brands.”