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Solent: Local business helps Bishops survive

By Jo Whittle
30 June 2021

Portsmouth-based firm Bishops Printers has revealed how important other businesses in the area have been to them during the pandemic period.

A significant local employer and the largest commercial printer in the South, they were hit hard by the cancellation of sports, arts and business events in particular. Overnight, their business shrank by 70%.

While Bishops continue to produce matchday programmes for prestige football clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Portsmouth, managing director Gareth Roberts explains that it has not been the supposed glamour of these contracts that have helped the company through the past, difficult, year.

“We might be known for the programmes we do, and most notably our long association with Pompey, but in reality, it is the local business from right across the Solent area, that has helped us survive the past twelve months”, he commented.

With 10% of households in the South East and 18% in Portsmouth classified as ‘workless’ in 2020 (according to official labour statistics – Nomis) it’s a welcome sign that Bishops can now positively contribute to reducing those figures.

Having had, like many others, a painful year, Roberts is delighted to report that the 35-year-old firm is once again ‘on the up’. “We’ve been recruiting again in all areas of the business, but the fact that we’re still here and able to do so is in no small part due to the support we’ve had from the local business community, and I’m personally very grateful for that.”

Bishops recognise their ongoing recovery is due in part to its customers continuing to recognise the versatility and cost-effectiveness of print. When marketing budgets are under pressure, or a business is looking for a tactile reminder, one of the oldest mediums can still deliver.

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