More than 550 retailers have signed up to the scheme
A loyalty card which rewards residents for shopping locally in independent stores has been rolled out free of cost in a west London borough.
About 150,000 Wedge Cards are being posted to residents and given to students in Kensington and Chelsea in an attempt to boost the local economy.
More than 550 businesses, including butchers and cafes, have signed up.
The card has been used in small schemes in other areas in London since 2006 but has never been taken up by a borough.
The Big Issue founder, John Bird, and his daughter Diana Bird, launched the card in 2006 to support small and independent retailers.
Miss Bird, director of Wedge card, said: "The area has so many unique and varied independent shops and we're delighted to be working with them to help bring people through their doors.
Councillor Merrick Cockell, leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which has funded the roll out of the scheme, said: "Our small shops are a very important part of the character of the borough.
"Like all businesses they will be finding the going pretty tough right now and we are determined to do what we can to help them."
Retailers with nine or fewer branches can sign up to the scheme and they can use the Wedge card website and Twitter account to promote their products and offer discounts.
The card will be free for all residents for a year before an annual fee of £10 is imposed.
Wedge cards are already used in smaller scale schemes in Waterloo, central London, and Camden in north London while other similar cards are used in west Cornwall.