England V Germany: How the Euros has helped boost businesses across the south

  • ITV News Meridian's Sarah Gomme reports.

With Euro fever underway ahead of the England V Germany game tonight, businesses have been telling ITV Meridian what impact the tournament has had on the Meridian region.

Whether you love it or hate it there is no doubt the Euros have given some sectors a boost after struggling during the pandemic. Fans have been splashing out on everything from flags to food, shandies to shirts.

And even if football doesn't come home, many businesses feel they've won already.

This evening, fans are being invited to Oxford City Football Club to watch the game on a big screen in a marquee - as long as they adhere to social distancing.

Oxford City FC has put up a marquee, equipped with a big screen, bringing fans and players togteher

For players and fans it has been a difficult year, so they're bringing them all together for tonight's game.

The club is expecting to welcome all ages tonight, with people coming together to get behind England. It's a real boost for them as they recover from the pandemic.

A pint is taken out to the marquee, one of many expected to be served today

Paul Lyon, part owner of the club, says he can't wait to welcome people back to the grounds and hopes it will be a jubilant evening for all, even if the match goes to penalties.

  • Paul Lyon - Part Owner, Oxford City Football Club

Hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants are gearing up for what could be a very busy evening.

Staff hang bunting in preparation for England fans

Matches, a sports bar in Ashford in Kent, which opened on the 9th of June, is making the final touches before kick off later.

The Euros have been a massive boost to this business, bringing in customers from all walks of life who want to watch the matches somewhere other than at home.

Jon Shephard, the owner, says people are looking for an enjoyable place to meet friends and family as it's more difficult to go to these events in person.

A three lions flag is put up under TV screens which will show the game later

The atmosphere of a pub or bar when everyone is rooting for the same team is unbeatable, he says.

  • Jon Shephard, Owner of Matches

Meanwhile, there has been a boost for other businesses too.

Hampshire Flag Company, based in Waterlooville, has had a tough year through the pandemic after big events closed down.

Sales of St George's flags have soared in recent weels

For them, the Euros has meant that sales have bounced back as people buy St George's branded flags and bunting.

Rod Sessions, Sales and Marketing Manager, says it has been a relief to see sales recover to near pre-pandemic levels as people support their nations.

Flags are stacked before they are made into bunting

They've had requests for Welsh, Scottish and even German flags - though English flags have been by far the biggest seller.

  • Rod Sessions, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Hampshire Flag Company

And for anyone who believes in fortune telling, the meerkats at Drusillas Park yesterday predicted England will triumph tonight.

They made the call as part of an enrichment exercise, and their keepers say their prediction is clear.

  • WATCH: Drusillas Park meerkats pick their favourite to win.