City of Southport announces a Virtual Merchant Showcase

Southport, NC – The City of Southport is committed to keeping our community and visitors safe and slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and is dedicated to helping to support our local businesses during this challenging time.

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, the City of Southport will launch the online “Southport Virtual Merchant Showcase” on Friday, September 4th. The showcase will be centered around local retail businesses and restaurants that have taken the “Southport Safe Pledge.” This pledge acknowledges that they are committed to helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensuring that customers can shop and dine with confidence by following the health safety protocol based on CDC and the NC Department of Health and Human Services in their businesses. These measures include five “W’s”: “Wash,” “Wear,” “Wait,” “Wipe Down,” and “Worker Protection.”

Randy Jones, City of Southport Director of Tourism states, “By providing a “Southport Safe” program for shopping and dining, customers can enjoy peace of mind while supporting local businesses that are dedicated to keeping their staff and customers safe.”  He maintains, “Participating businesses will display “Shop/Dine Southport Safe Here” signs in their windows so that they are easy to identify.”

Beginning today, up to 50 retail merchants and restaurants that are located within the Southport city limits who take the “Southport Safe Pledge” can sign up to receive a FREE promotional package from the city valued at $3000. This includes a 2-minute video interview, business/product photography, a video listing in the Merchant Showcase, print advertising, and digital promotions through the holiday season. An online “Merchant Info Portal,” www.southportnc.org/southport-virtual-merchant-showcase/  is available with all program details, helpful resources, and the online sign-up form. The deadline to sign-up is Friday, August 14th and is limited to the first 50 eligible businesses to apply.

Southport’s local market vendors may also take advantage of this free promotional opportunity. Downtown Southport, Inc. is partnering with the city to help promote up to 25 DSI market members to connect them with customers virtually while the weekly Southport Downtown Market is unable to open.

These artisans have worked hard throughout the year to create their wares and are now focusing on making them available for online purchase. They will be offering shipping or safe “limited-touch” local delivery to get orders to their customers.

Southport retail merchants and restaurants within the city limits who are interested in participating in the Shop/Dine Southport Safe Program should visit the Merchant Info Portal or contact Randy Jones, Southport Director of Tourism and Public Information, at rjones@cityofsouthport.com.

Interested Market vendors should contact Karen Rife, DSI at krife@downtownsouthport.com or (910) 279-4616.