Supporting the small businesses on our streets - with a visit from a Blackpool MP

Gordon Marsden supporting Small Business Saturday with Becky and Sophie at Toasties
Gordon Marsden supporting Small Business Saturday with Becky and Sophie at Toasties

A Blackpool MP showed his support for the resort’s high streets by visiting independents to mark Small Business Saturday.

Blackpool South’s Gordon Marsden has been a supporter of the initiative which is now in its sixth year in the UK after coming over from America.

Neal and Kevin at Pickersgill  DIY with Gordon Marsden

Neal and Kevin at Pickersgill DIY with Gordon Marsden

It takes place every first Saturday in December to highlight local independent shops and businesses, and to encourage residents to support and keep money in the local economy, in the run up to Christmas.

Mr Marsden said: “I think Small Business Saturday is a great way of getting people in Blackpool to show their support for shops and businesses in the town – I’ve backed it since day one as a Shadow Minister and also having run a small business myself for 12 years before I became an MP, I know how hard and challenging that can be.

“At a time when local media and others are all calling for people to back our High Streets shops and locally- based businesses , it is a great to, show it and support them.”

His ports of call included Toasties – a new sandwich, cake and shakes boutique shop, just a few doors from the MP’s Highfield Road office.

He said: “Toasties has had a lot of success since it opened in August and both I and other members of my staff have enjoyed the range of food, both hot and cold. Like any thriving small business, the secret is to know what your customers enjoy, but also be not afraid to experiment and try new ideas. Coral and her Toasties team have started very well and I wish them all the best for 2019.”

Afterwards, he dropped into Ann Barnes’ Florists which has been running for 30 years.

Gordon said: “Ann’s Shop has been a well-known fixture on Highfield Road and in the 20 plus years I’ve been her local MP I have frequently called on her advice and creative skills when buying flowers to send both in Blackpool and further afield. She’s been a mainstay of the community in South Shore.”

Gordon went on to Blackpool’s Abingdon Street Market. He said: “I really enjoy going round and buying things in the market – it’s a piece of the town’s heritage having been originally built in 1862 and used as the first town centre police station.”

He finished the day at Pickersgill DIY and Bathrooms, which has been on Rectory Road since 1976.

He said: said: “Pickersgill is another long-standing local business with a great reputation for what they do. There is a lot of competition in the DIY market, especially from other big businesses, but Pickersgill has customers from all across the Fylde Coast. While we were there we saw Kevin and his staff giving DIY tips and material info as they were ordering.

"All in all Small Business Saturday is a great showcase for successful local businesses, quite a number of whom have been helped to thrive in recent years by Blackpool Council' s excellent Get Started team - David Slater, Geoff Reeves, Donna Taylor and others – who’ve helped 100s of businesses and people to get going in the town.”