Supporting local businesses to thrive

Around 170 valued Thirteen customers provide essential and well-used services for us all in the heart of our communities.

M0116690 Suport Local Graphics Social

7 Apr 2021

These customers who rent commercial properties from Thirteen, run successful businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons, bakeries, pharmacies, newsagents and dog groomers.

Now, many businesses which temporarily closed their doors for the third time due to Covid-19 will soon be starting to re-open to customers again next week.

Commercial property lead Fiona McCulloch said: “We know that every one of our commercial customers works incredibly hard to run a successful business, which they’re very proud of, and we can all play a part to help them maintain their success. Each business is unique and their success is so important to us.

“By supporting local businesses, you’re not only helping to support entrepreneurs, you’re helping to make a valued contribution to the local economy.

“We want to help them re-energise their business when they re-open and we’re encouraging everyone to support them too and wherever possible to shop locally.”

You can read about some of our customers below and you can find a directory of the businesses here.

Hear from our customers

Hair@150 Northgate

Hair150Salon owner Alison has been cutting and styling hair for nearly 35 years from her much-loved salon on the Headland in Hartlepool.

Like many businesses Hair@150 Northgate, has had a challenging year. Alison said: “We would have never imagined how a pandemic would impact the business. However, the support has been excellent – from Thirteen and from the government, and that’s something I’m incredibly thankful for.”

Alison, started her hairdressing career, training as an apprentice within a salon in Binns in the town, before launching her own business in July 1986. “I had some of the very best training on offer during my apprenticeship. I love my job.

“The hardest part about not being able to work for many months over the last year has been missing the great team I have here and missing our clients.

“I have clients who have been coming to the salon for as long as we’ve been open. For some of our elderly customers, we may be the only people they see during the week.

“When you have such a great relationship with your customers, you’re here as a friend and someone who listens to them, laughs with them and over the years we’ve shared many memories together.

“It’s been a challenge adapting to the restrictions we’ve had to put in place, and we’ve worked incredibly hard to run the salon safely, adhering to the guidance in place at all times.

“We’re all looking forward to welcoming our clients back and we’re feeling positive about the months ahead.”

Head Office Gentleman’s Barbershop

Business owner Louise opened Head Office Gentleman’s Barbershop, in Billingham almost four years ago.

After various jobs in retail and hospitality, Louise had always had an interest in working in hair and barbering, so began her training.

Louise said: “This is something I love doing. I’ve worked with some great people, who have given me support and guidance along the way.

“When I saw the building space was available through Thirteen, I knew this was a chance I had to take. Running your own business isn’t easy and setting up on my own was overwhelming, but incredibly rewarding.

“When the pandemic began, it was frightening having to close the business. Being faced with the unknown and not knowing when we would re-open.

“This is something we would never have expected to have happened. The last year has been a difficult one. A lot of work, over the year, like all business owners has gone into following guidance and ensuring that customers are always safe.

“I’m feeling positive. I’m looking forward to getting the business open again and seeing my customers.

“Especially for some older gentlemen, who come to the barbershop. They really look forward to getting out. My job is to help them feel and look better. Taking pride in their appearance gives them a boost – that job satisfaction is what is important to me.

“I’ve had great support and I know that if I have any questions, the team at Thirteen are always there to help. I’m thinking about other businesses in the same position and wishing them all the best for the future too.”


A Middlesbrough salon owner is feeling positive and looking forward to the future. After spending 20 years working in retail, owning her own beauty salon was a dream for Debbie.

Offering a range of treatments, including facials, hot stone massage, LVL, pedicures and nails, Studio48 on Broughton Avenue in Easterside, has gained many valued and loyal customers over the last 11 years.

Debbie said: “I worked at Littlewoods in the town for 20 years and wanted to stay local to be close to my family.

“I became my mam’s carer and when she was in the day centre, I had some free time, so I took a course in beauty. It was something I’d always wanted to do. When I qualified, I went mobile at first, then I saw the shop was available.

“I’ve invested in the salon and it’s gone from strength to strength over the years. I’ve always had the support from Thirteen and they’re always there if I need them.

“The pandemic frightened people. We worked very hard to put screens in place and make sure we had the right PPE. We want to reassure everyone who comes to us, they are in safe hands. “It’s been a hard year. I’ve missed seeing my dad. On March 8, I could hold his hand. He squeezed my hand and smiled. Getting back to some normality has given me hope.

“My clients have been on the phone to me and they can’t wait to be able to come back too.

“I love being around people. I have so many regular clients, who are great friends. We make them feel good about themselves and we take our time to chat to them. Coming to the salon is about investing time in themselves which they deserve.”

You can find the friendly team at Studio48 at Broughton Avenue shops.