A SPECIAL ‘golf toolkit’ has been produced for local businesses ahead of the 146th Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale. More than 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the event between 16-23 July with many of these staying in Southport and other parts of Sefton. The arrival of a global market represents a massive opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves to both domestic and international visitors. To ensure local businesses are ready and able to capitalise on this, Sefton Council through Visit Southport and Invest Sefton along with Southport BID have produced a ‘Business Toolkit’. The guide, available in both printed and digital formats, explains how to ensure businesses are ‘Open Ready’. It covers a range of topics including customer service, briefing staff, promoting your business, advice on websites and social media and working with other businesses. Mark Catherall, Sefton Council’s Head of Tourism, said: “The Open brings with it substantial commercial prospects for local companies – not only for the duration of the event by generating new business, but also in securing repeat business and return visits. “Hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions all need to ensure they are fully prepared for the influx of visitors and are offering exceptional service to customers. “We want everyone who visits the borough during The Open to see how special Sefton is and realise it is well and truly open for business.” The toolkit also contains advice on recruitment and training and a range of courses including; Welcome Host, World Host and Customer Service, available via InvestSefton. Hugh Evans, Southport BID Chief Executive, added: “There is a great deal of opportunity for Southport during this international event. We want to do all that we can to support businesses to maximise their potential and benefit in every way they can. “We hope that we can work together with individual business owners and we will be offering as much advice, support and resources as we can. “To help ensure we show off the quality of the independent businesses here in Southport, we are offering £1,000 to the business with the best golf themed window display during The Open!” A free copy of the Business Toolkit is available from southportbid.com or investsefton.com. Alternatively you can contact Southport BID on 01704 538382 or email email@example.com.