How the Eurovision Song Contest is helping Liverpool's local businesses

  • Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Rob Smith

Liverpool's economy could receive a huge boost as it hosts the Eurovision Song Contest - with local businesses across the area already feeling the benefit.

An estimated 100,000 people are expected to descend on the city during the week-long celebration.

Hotels, restaurants and shops are just some of those reaping the rewards of the influx of visitors - with many hailing it as a saviour after lockdown and the cost of living crisis.

Bill Addy, from Liverpool BID Company said: "There's the longer term boost the economy which could have up to an additional 5% and if our visitor economy is £2.5 billion another 5% on top of that is £150 million.

"It makes an absolutely difference to some businesses surviving and not surviving."

Decades before being a jewellers, the business was a music shop. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

One business, Wong Jewellers, has turned its front window into karaoke booth, in celebration of Eurovision.

Decades before being a jewellers, the shop that sells guitar shaped jewellery also sold real guitars.

The founder, Brian Wong, saw the Beatles there and says Liverpool's history needs to be part of the contest.

"We all thought right, we've got to get the music scene of Liverpool which is so important and that's the thing, Liverpool all over the world, there's so many friends of Liverpool," Mr Wong says.

Volunteers are welcoming guests at the airport.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is welcoming people from across the globe for the competition with an army of volunteers on standby to meet and greet in arrivals.

Amanda Gunson, one of the volunteers, said: "Just to be picked, to be a volunteer, I just couldn't believe it, out of nearly 3,000 people.

"To be here, welcoming people from all over Europe, well not just Europe, America, Australia, it's just fantastic."

After arriving guests need somewhere to stay, and local hotels have stepped into the breach to put up both fans and competitors.

Howard Lewis of Novotel Paddington Village, said: "I've seen this week, countries doing live broadcasts to their nations and talking to fans, friends from all over the world.

"They estimate 160 million people watch the live final on the Saturday."

Sam's Bakehouse also hopes to feed the city with continental treats, making new desserts specifically for the contest.

The best sellers for this local bakery are Italian canneolis. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The owner, Sam Boden-Wright, said: "You can't have a party without food, and one of my biggest sellers is a canneoli from Italy, I took it from there.

"Because there's a massive amount of interest for Eurovision compared to previous years, more people are going to be getting involved who have probably never even been bothered about it, so the country's switched on.

"Everyone wants cake."

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