We had a great Hallowe’en – now here’s to a very happy Christmas
HALLOWE’EN is over for another year. Looking back at all the activity that the BID and participating businesses delivered, we’re delighted with how well everything turned out.
The maze, a first for the town centre, attracted over 3,200 children (and some adults) while the Dragons and other street entertainers attracted larger crowds as they danced across the town centre.
Now the BID team are gearing up to deliver the annual Christmas lights switch-on.
This year, the event is taking place on Sunday, November 18 and, once again, Lord Street between Nevill Street and Eastbank Street will be closed off.
The Christmas lights themselves are already up.
Next week (on November 12) the Christmas tree itself will begin to be installed.
The tree will be a first for Southport and quite unlike anything that Southport has seen before.
Our Christmas activity continues with the return of the ice rink jointly funded by the BID and Sefton Council.
This year, it’s going to be open-air and located on the Eastbank Street side of Town Hall Gardens.
On the other side of the gardens, Sefton Council have brought back the Christmas market.
Christmas is the most important time of the year for retailers and a large part of our annual budget goes towards making the town centre as attractive as possible over the festive season.
This year, we think that Christmas will be the best that the town has seen.
Last week, the Chancellor delivered some welcome news for retailers and small businesses in general.
In his Budget, he announced a new business rates relief that could potentially knock around a third off the bills for around 90% of small businesses.
The Treasury calculate that could mean an average saving of £8,000.
While that is good news for our small businesses, high business rates will continue to damage high streets across the country.
The disparity between the rates paid by online and high street stores, in particular, is stark.
For example, online businesses currently pay just one tenth of the business rates paid by high street businesses.
Our national body, British BIDs, will continue to campaign on behalf of BIDs and their levy payers across the country for further wholesale reform of business rates.
It’s a playing field that still needs levelling.
Families having fun at Southport’s Hallowe’en events last week