Preparing for Christmas has already begun as Horsham town centre businesses were versed on the annual council-run window dressing awards.
Dressed For Success, run by Horsham District Council, encourages traders and businesses of all strands to get into the festive spirit by decorating the ground-floor front facades of their premises.
Around 60 partners and potential participants attended this year’s launch event at Crompton’s, Bishopric, Horsham, last Wednesday, September 12.
Gill Buchanan, Swan Walk centre manager and chair of Horsham Unlimited, the town centre partnership, told business owners she wanted Horsham to be the Regent Street of the South East.
She said: “Seeing so many previous Dressed for Success partners as well as so many new faces at this year’s launch shows how much the business community is supporting and benefiting from this initiative.
“2012 is our third year and we are really looking forward to not only seeing the fantastic results of Horsham’s business’s efforts but also further engaging our customers to vote and support their town centre.
“We will all be working hard to generate a significant increase on the 1,000 votes cast and numbers of businesses involved last year.”
This year voting will open on November 17 and will take place over multiple platforms including Twitter and Facebook, with pavement ‘Vote for Me’ stickers around also around the town.
The scheme will headline a festive season of town centre events, which also includes late night shopping, added support for Horsham Markets and Horsham Churches Together’s annual Carol Singing and Firework event in The Forum.
Roger Paterson (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), cabinet member for the local economy, said: “If the local economy is not going to be successful then nothing is. Over the years Horsham has benefited from a very dynamic business partnership which businesses have taken advantage of and made the most of.”
He added: “We have always had ambitious plans for Horsham.”
Jeremy Knight, curator of Horsham Museum, said that Horsham actually had a famed reputation for window-dressing in the 1920s and 1930s, attracting international visitors.
Kay Tyler, of Mayfair Hair in East Street, who won the prize for best independent display last year, added: “All of our customers are really looked after, and I think that’s what won it for us last year.”