Summer has finally arrived, and as spirits soar the Observer is launching a new campaign to try to reflect a new mood of optimism – and boost the area.
As the UK economy shows the first signs of recovery, our Summer of Love campaign is encouraging readers to help the Sussex economy by spending their money locally, visiting local tourist attractions and eating out at local pubs, bars and restaurants, and raising cash for good causes.
More than that, we plan to shine a spotlight on every ray of sunshine in our local communities.
Our Summer of Love campaign will be highlighting the importance of shopping locally - but also raising funds locally, helping the community locally, and supporting one another in our local areas.
It will be bursting with sizzling summer ideas of great local ways to spend your time - and your money!
And it will dovetail into the enormous work this newspaper already undertakes to bang the drum for business and the area we serve.
So how can you be involved?
The Observer is continuing its search for our community heroes so why not nominate someone for an Observer Community Award? There are 17 categories you can nominate in – including best community event, best school and best volunteer – so email firstname.lastname@example.org with your nominees.
This week’s Observer has all the details of the awards, with the winners announced at our awards evening in December at Butlin’s.
If you run a local shop or visitor attraction and want to advertise to our unique local audience not only through our newspaper but our many digital platforms too - we will be delighted to hear from you. Contact us on email@example.com or telephone 01243 730980.
We want our readers to support the diverse range of independent shops which can be found right across the county - and we will be launching some special campaigns to underpin this.
This includes supporting the Independents Day initiative in Chichester on July 4 to encourage shoppers to support the smaller independent businesses in the city
We want to help local businesses stay on their feet and are hoping to do so by helping them to find new customers.
Our Summer of Love campaign will also encourage local residents to make the most of the facilities and local events in the Bognor Regis, Chichester, Midhurst and Petworth area.
So if you are organising a charitable or community event then tell us about it.
Our reporters will, as ever be delighted to receive your news.
One major summer event the Observer has been hugely involved with is the launch of the very first Festival of Chichester taking place from June 14 to July 13.
Festival chairman, the Observer’s arts and entertainments editor Phil Hewitt, said: “The Observer has been at the heart of the festival from the word go, and I am so excited we are able to bring together such a wonderful festival of arts, events and entertainment for the benefit of our local community.”
Colin Channon, the Observer’s editor in chief, urged our paper and online readers to support the Summer of Love campaign and support their local community.
“Our newspapers and websites are at the heart of the communities they serve,” he said.
“With that comes a huge responsibility to support the Bognor, Chichester and Midhurst area - especially as it emerges from such difficult financial times and such a long, bleak winter.
“Our papers offer a fresh, quality platform for advertisers to promote their businesses and the community to share its success stories - and our websites are reaching more people than ever before.
“If West Sussex thrives everybody else thrives too. Jobs are created and as a result people have more money to spend.
“The Summer of Love campaign is about harnessing the feel good factor of summer and helping West Sussex’s economy get back on its feet.”