Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

We have missed our wonderful shops in Southport and Formby! But as they finally get ready to reopen, they need our support now more than ever. They will also deserve our patience – and our kindness. 

It has been a long time coming. After nine weeks in lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night announced that more businesses will be allowed to open.

It is all happening fast.

Car showrooms and outdoor markets will be able to open in just six days time. 

‘Non essential’ firms such as bookshops, clothes shops, toy shops, photography studios, indoor markets, shoe shops, tailors, electronic shops, gift shops, charity shops, furniture stores and others will be able to welcome back customers from Monday, June 15. 

These are exciting times! 

At Stand Up For Southport we are asking everyone to please do all you can to support our local businesses. After more than two months closed, let’s help them get back on their feet. 

 

Read More: Artist, 8, sold pictures worldwide to raise money for Southport and Ormskirk hospitals

 

Many food retailers and other ‘essential’ firms have of course already been trading these past few weeks, even if in part. 

When panic buying and empty shelves impacted so many people in March, traders across our town moved fast to set up delivery services to ensure food kept getting through, especially vital to those in lockdown or shielding, and to key workers. 

Butchers, greengrocers, fishmongers, restaurateurs, dairies, all worked hard to set up delivery services from scratch, or expanded rapidly to take in new customers. We owe them our loyalty. 

 

New social distancing signs created by Southport firm Magnetic Activation outside Mr Chips chippy in Churchtown in Southport

New social distancing signs created by Southport firm Magnetic Activation outside Mr Chips chippy in Churchtown in Southport

We are living in difficult and stressful times, with measures such as food rationing, queueing and social distancing becoming a part of our everyday life. 

Customers have not always been kind. Shop workers in both supermarkets and other shops have done an immense job in serving everyone to keep food on our tables, but they have sometimes faced anger and abuse. One supermarket in Southport was even Blessed by a local church this week after a number of confrontations there. 

 

Read More: Supermarket where workers faced ‘aggressive behaviour’ blessed by church

 

So when our shops, our car showrooms and our outdoor markets open in the next few days, please be kind, and please help each other. 

These are difficult times for our local business owners and workers too. 

Many may have lost huge sums, while still having to pay essential bills. Many will be having to learn fast to install the correct social distancing signage and safety measures. 

Some may make mistakes, some may take time to come up to speed with what they have to do. 

We may have to wait patiently outside shops, we may have to queue, as people respect the two metre distance rule. 

Please try and pay contactless by card, please don’t get angry at shops which don’t have the correct change. 

This is new for everyone and business owners and shop workers will all be doing their best to make things safe for everyone and to get their businesses up and running again. 

New social distancing signs created by Southport firm Magnetic Activation outside Broughs butchers in Birkdale in Southport

New social distancing signs created by Southport firm Magnetic Activation outside Broughs butchers in Birkdale in Southport

 

Let’s help each other through this transition. 

If you spot mistakes, please don’t take pictures and shame them on social media. Please don’t slate them in online reviews. 

Mention any issues to them directly. Try and help each other. Show kindness. And be patient. Perhaps go shopping at times you know won’t be busy. 

Many of our shops which were previously just ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses have now set up online delivery services, why not continue making the most of them instead of turning up in person. 

And whatever shopping you need to do, please support our local firms, and shop local. 

No-one has ever seen anything like this coronavirus epidemic and the damage it has caused. 

But we will come out of this. And we will all come out of this better if we all show some kindness. 

#ShopLocal #BeKind 

DO you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Would you like to write a Guest Blog for us? Please message us via Facebook or email Andrew Brown at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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