Emporium now there’s an odd word but entrepreneur that’s a vital one.

The dictionary definition of emporium is:- A shop, usually a large one, that offers a wide selection of goods.

I raise this because of a Maghull Town Team project that I am presently involved in where ‘Emporium’ is to be the name of a temporary shop unit, in Maghull Square. It will be there for start-up businesses to have a go, by renting one of 8 bays in the shop unit, to see if their business may be viable on the High Street for real. It is a part of the ‘Pop Up Shop’ trend that is appearing in empty shop units in shopping centres across the UK.

It is funded by the Coalition Government’s ‘Portas’ funding stream (like Maghull Community Radio that a posted about few days ago) and may well move from one empty shop unit to another as they come off and go on lease in the ‘normal’ cycle of retail units.

I Googled ‘emporium’ to see what came up and below is what did:-

The Emporium Clitheroe – Welcome to the Emporium. A truly intoxicating lifestyle experience. half coffee shop, wine bar and brassiere; half interior design superstore.

Vinyl Emporium – Liverpool, Merseyside – Books, Mags, Music & Video › Vinyl Records?

The Tattoo Emporium, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Inn Beer Emporium Reviews, Liverpool, Merseyside – Attractions …Things to do in Liverpool

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, Manchester – we want to mark a great season with a special menu.

My point? A really good project, but Emporium by name? Or is that just me? You see I am in a minority in holding a questioning view about the suitability of the name. But hey, let’s go with the flow, greater minds than mine think differently.

But this project links back to my long held view/concern for the future of those parts of the UK where dependency on public sector jobs is high and I say this despite being a creature of the public sector all my working life. What I have realised is that the well intentioned (and cost saving) move, by government after government, of public sector jobs out of the South East to the North West, North East, Scotland and Wales etc. in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s has had an unintended negative consequence. The negative is that it can lead to less entrepreneurs coming to the fore in such areas because a job in the public sector is often the obvious choice for a young person whose whole working family may well have been public sector workers.

But whether we like it or not we live in a capitalist economy, one which no matter what some politicians may say, can only be successful if in each generation there are sufficient young people with the determination to generate wealth.

The project that I am a part of has to address this vital issue. It is not just about creating jobs but about setting the scene for successful businesses to be started, to thrive and then for those businesses to employ others. It is this important cycle that has been to some degree broken in communities that have became too dependent on the public sector to provide jobs. Sefton, in my view, is in that category but with the notable exception of Southport which does have a significantly high proportion of small to medium sized business.

Whether we call it (the shop unit) an ’emporium’ or anything else the real test for it will be the flow of young people in particular who have wealth creating ideas that they want to road test within it. It’s going to be an interesting and I hope successful project.

The video below links to this project and it starts my old mate Les (Frank Hornby) French:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0tQbQDF0CY

Maghull Community Radio – It sounds like a great idea to me

Maghull Town Council had a presentation at its meeting on 30th October from a group of volunteers who are intending to set up and run an internet based radio station for Maghull.

The group of mainly recently qualified graduates with some ‘older head’ advice have been working on the project for some time. The funding for it flows from a successful bid by the Maghull Town Team to that ‘Portas’ funding stream created by the Coalition Government to try to help the revival of our town centres. A significant aim of the project is to promote the retail businesses in Maghull Square shopping centre.

Below are a couple of photo’s I took during the presentation to the Council which received its unanimous support. The radio station will operate from the sadly now defunct coffee shop space (not to be confused with Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee Bar which is still running in the Town Hall almost despite Sefton Youth Service who have never really liked it because young people control it) within Maghull Town Hall and it will be on a 12 month trial. The target first broadcast being on 3rd February 2014.

Let’s hope it is a great success.

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