TWO businesswoman are aiming to forge links between small businesses and members of the public in Hartlepool by drumming up support in hourly slots on Twitter.
Lucy Pattison, of business therapy firm JCSP, and Heidi Readman-Ahmed, from cosmetics and beauty gift shop Make Scents, decided to launch Hartlepool Hour on the social networking site after talking about the number of low-profile and often unknown businesses in the town.
The pair wanted to some how improve the communication between firms and potential customers to help out both parties.
And within days Hartlepool Hour was born with three weekly hour-long slots from 3pm until 4pm on Tuesdays, 7pm until 8pm on Wednesdays and 6pm until 7pm on Sundays.
The scheme works by advertising the hour-long slots on twitter during the week, and then when the time comes around firms can tweet about what they have coming up, or what special offers they on and use the #hartlepoolhour hastag so everyone linked with the group can see what is being said.
At the same time members of the public can ask advice on anything they are interested in or have a need for, also using #hartlepoolhour.
Lucy, 38, a step-mum-of-two who runs her business from her Hartlepool home, said: “What we wanted to do was to engage with as many businesses and people in Hartlepool as possible.
“Heidi and I were talking one day and we were saying there are so many great businesses and services in the area, why are people not using the local services and businesses?
“We thought people could do with a free way of being able to offer support to these businesses and making people in the community aware of them.
“So we came up with the Hartlepool Hour idea and went for it straight away.”
She added: “It’s a chance for businesses to say ‘we’ve got this going’, ‘we’ve got that going’, and potential customers can go on there too and ask for recommendations.
“It’s not just about self-promotion, it’s about supporting each other. It’s a two way thing and hopefully we’l be able to improve the local economy starting from grass roots up over.”