Tunbridge Wells employers support loyalty scheme that champions local

HELPING HAND: Jess Gibson, founder of the TN card

The TN card is the Tunbridge Wells loyalty scheme that rewards shoppers for supporting local. Its founder Jess Gibson, tells Eileen Leahy why many of the town’s employers are now supporting the scheme by offering TN card membership as a practical benefit for their staff.


Jess Gibson, founder of The TN card, launched her business in February 2020 with the principle intention of encouraging more of us in Tunbridge Wells to support our local shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.

Given the Covid pandemic hit just one month later, Jess’s new business could have immediately folded due to all local businesses and events spaces being ordered to shut by the government. But luckily, this unprecedented situation made residents more determined than ever to support the town’s independent retailers and hospitality sector.

Over the past three-and-a-half years Jess has seen her business grow and as a result she has expanded her loyalty shopping initiative, which gives members all types of discounts and promotions, to many more hundreds of businesses. She has even rolled the scheme out to the nearby towns of Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.

Membership for The TN card costs £24.99 a year, with 10 per cent of profits going to the charity West Kent Mind.

Jess tells us that the latest development in her business is that over the past year or so, more and more local businesses are now offering membership of The TN Card to their employees as a staff benefit.

“I am thrilled that so many of our Tunbridge Wells employers are now supporting the TN card and its mission to champion local.

“The TN card is being recognised as not only a valuable and practical benefit for staff, but as a way of giving back to the community, of donating to West Kent Mind and an easy way to demonstrate commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance responsibilities,” adds Jess.

Employee annual membership of The TN card costs just £15 (+VAT) when a minimum purchase of six cards is made. Otherwise annual membership costs £24.99 per employee. Ten per cent of these fees are still donated to West Kent Mind.

“For the TN card, it means more members, which sustains the scheme and allows it to grow,” explains Jess.

“The more people with a card, the more we can help our independents, and the more resources we can employ. The TN card was established to facilitate positive change in our community – with employers coming on board, its potential to do this is made even greater.”

Jess says that she would like more local employers to join the TN card as corporate members.

“Membership cards make an affordable and impactful staff benefit that not only rewards staff throughout the year but also encourages them to support local – good for local businesses, the economy and the environment too.”

Since launching in February 2020, the TN card now has 800 small businesses in its directory.

In June this year, The TN card was accredited as a Social Enterprise giving employers transparency on its commitment to social purpose.

“There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, which are businesses that prioritise benefit to people and the planet and use the majority of any profit to further their mission.

“But we now need more members, more card holders, so it can be sustained, stay impactful and grow alongside its partner database,” states Jess.

Local employers who have joined as corporate members, purchasing the TN card for staff, include: Thomson Snell & Passmore, TN Recruits, Berry & Lamberts Solicitors, CooperBurnett LLP, BSR Bespoke Accountants and Sharp Minds Communications.

Tonbridge businesses offering their employees the TN card include Warners Solicitors, Clarke Williams insurance brokers and ABMV Chartered Accountants.

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