Meet the small businesses benefiting from unique Liverpool link-up

Whether you have been to a game at Anfield or just watched on television, you may have noticed a brilliant initiative that celebrates small businesses.

Liverpool is a city well-known for its independent attitude, reflected by some superb independent businesses that are thriving in the city.

A unique link-up with Vista, a partner of Liverpool FC, has seen local businesses benefiting from support from the worldwide marketing brand.

Vista’s ‘small business of the match‘ initiative sees small business owners nominated and rewarded with a matchday experience, where they meet club legends and see their businesses on the advertising around the Anfield pitch.

We spoke to some of the recipients to understand how much of impact it has had – and it is abundantly clear just how special the advertising, experience and acknowledgement truly are.

“Honestly, they’re [Vista] fantastic,” says Anthony Grice of the brilliant Fika Coffee – a Swedish-inspired coffee shop that has enjoyed, among other things, their business being advertised at Anfield.

“I’ve been blown away. From being a worldwide brand, you’d only expect them to be associated with worldwide brands, but not my small coffee shop in Liverpool. It’s amazing.”

Grice, like other recipients of the award, enjoyed a unique Anfield matchday experience. It helps that he’s also a huge Red. Being hosted in the hospitality lounge was a bit different to his usual spec on the Kop!

Another massive Red and recipient of the experience was Ste Gaynor from Boardwalk Barbers, who described it as one of the most emotional moments seeing his business lit up at Anfield during a match.

“The campaign was a massive success for me and my small business,” he reflects. “After the advertising at Anfield the traffic on Google for searching for my shop was the highest it’s ever been.

“The effect it had on promotion of my business via ‘word of mouth’ in the local community was probably the biggest and most rewarding effect.

“Having a one chair Barbershop which is located in a room of 12 ft by 12 ft, advertise at Anfield, was something the local community was talking about.

“Since then, my appointment app (I’m an appointment-only Barber) has grown with more people now downloading it and becoming a member.

“As a massive Liverpool fan who goes to all the games, seeing my little shop and business advertised at Anfield is one the greatest and most emotional events that has ever happened to me.”

Another local business to have received support is the unique Scouse Girl Timber, who makes bespoke handmade furniture and featured in a recent link-up with the LFC Women’s team to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“When I got asked to be a part of it, I couldn’t believe that out of all the amazing businesses in the city, I was the one that got asked to be involved,” explains Dan.

“I know it’s uncommon for a woman to do what I do but that just pushes me on even more. It gives me a buzz.

“I love being a woman doing a job I adore, in a city that is full of people that only wish to see you succeed.”

Vista have clearly had a massive impact with their backing of small businesses, flipping the script to put the spotlight on them.

Connect Studios is a performing arts school in Seaforth. Reflecting on the experience, owners Kelly and Michael said: “[It] made one business and one little boy happy!

“We will be forever grateful. [It] was a fantastic opportunity for two of our members to attend a Liverpool match that created memories that’ll last a life time. Today they still talk about how much fun it was!”

There can be no underestimating the power of acknowledgement and awareness that this initiative shines on fantastic local businesses and the impact it is having is clear.

The city of Liverpool knows how to lift others up and this is a brilliant example of such.

Find out more about Vista’s small business of the match, here.