An open letter to The Champion newsletter from Susannah Porter, owner of Remedy, PubWatch Chair and member of our Board:
When four years ago I opened Remedy (on Lord Street and now also in Churchtown), I wanted to invest in Southport to bring a distinct and new experience to the town that is also my home.
I believe that independent businesses help to make Southport what it is; make it interesting, unique and add to its charm, and I am proud to have enhanced this. However, one of the challenges that we face is we need to be able to operate at the same level as large corporate organisations when it comes to marketing and other business functions.
This is where I see Southport BID making a difference, which is why since 2017 I have sat alongside other local business owners as one of the BID Board members; each of us ensuring that the needs of small business owners are reflected in the direction and focus of the BID.
The BID’s presence in Southport means that businesses can benefit from the profile raising work that it is delivering and its dedicated marketing campaigns. These create an impact that individual businesses could not possibly achieve on their own, reach out to the audiences that we want to reach and celebrate what’s special about Southport. Southport Independents and more recently Restaurant Week are examples of particular campaigns that are focused on giving support and creating exposure that would be budget prohibitive if it were not for the BID. As someone who has had a career in marketing, I can also see from our visitors’ perspective how well this united, collaborative approach succeeds in painting a picture of Southport.
But the advantages of having a BID in Southport do not end there. What the BID has achieved for Southport’s night time economy is exemplary, and as Pub Watch Chair this is something that I have particularly been able to observe. There have been investments in body-worn cameras and knife wands for clubs, bars and retailers, there has been a sharing of intelligence, there has been partnership work with Merseyside Police and the presence of Taxi Marshals has been a welcome addition for those enjoying a Friday or Saturday night in Southport. This is all vital work that has also resulted in Southport being awarded Purple Flag status, a much-needed positive step forward. Importantly the working relationship with Sefton Council and Merseyside Police means that businesses have a clear and collective voice so that the issues that matter to them are being represented and addressed.
I have also seen the benefits of Southport BID’s work to create and support town centre events that are designed to increase dwell time and to help ensure that Southport is not a seasonally dependant town, giving reasons for people to visit and opportunities for businesses to get involved and be creatively inspired, should they choose to do so.
These are just some of the reasons why I give Southport BID my backing, and would urge other businesses to do the same in the upcoming ballot. Southport BID is an investment that we make as individuals that brings about collective rewards on a scale that we couldn’t achieve on our own. It’s by working together and having a shared vision for Southport that we’ll achieve the positive future and prosperity for the town that we all desire.