People are being urged to do all they can to support local businesses when shops across Southport reopen on Monday (15th June) after three months in lockdown.
Southport MP Damien Moore hailed “a very important day for our high street” as he praised firms for their efforts in ensuring the safety of staff and shoppers.
He said: “I am excited to see shops across Southport opening their doors again on Monday on what is a very important day for our high street.
“This is ‘Bounce Back Monday’ for hundreds of our local firms.
“We need to send out a strong message that Southport is back open for business.
“Now is the time to support our independent traders. Southport town centre and our village centres in Birkdale, Churchtown and Ainsdale can begin to flourish once again if we all pledge to shop local.
“We have a great opportunity now to create some certainty and breathe new life back into Southport, and we all have our part to play in making that happen.
“I understand these past few weeks have been an uncertain time for businesses. I am pleased they will now be able to enjoy some certainty as they reopen. These measures are being allowed to happen through the continued hard work which has seen cases of Coronavirus continue to fall. If that continues to happen, then I hope there will be further good news soon for those in the hospitality and leisure industry, among others.
“I know our shop owners have done tremendous work in getting their premises ready to open with the safety of staff and customers in mind.
“I have seen lots of work taking place to provide screens, social distancing signs, hand sanitisers, contactless payments, delivery systems, new one-way systems and barriers, as well as making physical changes to premises.
“I would like to thank our food shops and other firms which have been open throughout the lockdown. Many of them have shown great creativity in changing the ways they operate, setting up new delivery services and changing what they offer to suit their customers.
“We are fortunate in Southport in having lots of space. Places such as Lord Street, Chapel Street, other roads and our villages are great places for social distancing.
“This will be a time for patience as everyone gets used to the new ways of shopping. Please be patient with shop staff, they will be doing their best. Please be patient if you have to queue, please respect social distancing.
“Southport Business Improvement District has been in regular contact with local firms and they continue to provide excellent advice in getting them ready to reopen.”
A huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to make vital improvements to Southport.
Damien Moore has been part of the Southport Town Deal board, which is putting together funding bids for up to £25million to help to regenerate Southport.
Government money has also been vital in supporting the Southport Townscape Heritage Project, which will see up to £2.5million invested in making improvements to historic Southport town centre buildings.
When the Coronavirus lockdown came into force in March, the Government reacted promptly and decisively with an unprecedented package of measures to protect jobs and measures, including the furlough scheme, a business rates holiday and business grants.
Mr Moore said: “After nearly three months in lockdown and isolation, there is no better place to reconnect with society than by supporting your local shops in Southport.
“We want to see a vibrant, flourishing high street once again.
“Please spend local and support our local businesses.”